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Course Descriptions

Urban and Inner City Studies


Intro to Urban & Inner-City Studies - UIC 1001(3)
Instructor: Jim Silver

How and why do cities grow and change? What are the consequences, especially for those most marginalized? How did Winnipeg, specifically, become the city it is today?  What exciting inner-city initiatives are underway? This is the foundational course for Urban & Inner-City Studies. It includes two very interesting field trips. 

Jim Silver has worked in and written about the inner city for many years. Among his recent books are: Good Places to Live: Poverty and Public Housing in Canada (2011); Moving Forward, Giving Back: Transformative Aboriginal Adult Education (2013); and as co-author, Indians Wear Red: Colonialism, Resistance and Aboriginal Street Gangs, which will be released this Fall. Jim represents UIC in the North End community’s efforts to redevelop the old Merchants Hotel into the new and multifaceted Merchants Corner, which will be an exciting new home for UIC in the near future. Jim will be teaching UIC’s Practicum this year. 

Intro to Urban & Inner-City Studies - UIC 1001(3)
Instructor: Shauna MacKinnon

How and why do cities grow and change? What are the consequences, especially for those most marginalized? How did Winnipeg, specifically, become the city it is today? What exciting inner-city initiatives are underway? This is the foundational course for Urban & Inner-City Studies. It includes two very interesting field trips. 

Shauna MacKinnon is the Chair of Urban and Inner-City Studies. She has years of experience coordinating and conducting research in Winnipeg’s inner city as the former Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba. She has published extensively on inner city issues, and works closely with inner city organizations. She directs the Capacity Building stream of the Manitoba Research Alliance’s large, SSHRC-funded inner city and Aboriginal research project, coordinates the MRA’s new international research initiatives, and recently accepted, along with Diane Roussin, Executive Director of Ma Mawi, a prestigious international award for building university-community connections.  

Indigenous Ways of Knowing - UIC 1010(3)
Instructor: Myra Laramee
 

Aboriginal people have been successful in retaining their own particular ways of seeing and understanding the world around us and their place in it. This course offers a close, hands-on look at a culture that is positive in a multiplicity of ways.

Myra Laramee is a highly regarded elder in the Aboriginal community. She has a wealth of experience teaching in Winnipeg’s inner city, most recently serving as Principal at Niji Mahkwa School, Winnipeg’s Aboriginal elementary school. She has for years taught a popular Summer Institute on Aboriginal education at UM’s Faculty of Education. She currently works with the Aboriginal Education Directorate as their Aboriginal Awareness Consultant. Her course, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, is a must for anyone hoping to understand the Winnipeg of the future.

Community Development/Community Economic Development - UIC/IS 2001(3)
Instructor: Louise Simbandumwe

How can low-income communities mobilize their resources and draw upon their own skills to build stronger and healthier communities? What role can co-ops and social enterprises play? What is the “real life economy” of the inner city? This course examines these and related phenomena.  

Colonization & Aboriginal Peoples - UIC/IS/POL 2020(3)
Instructor: Ryan Duplassie

The history of colonization and the damage it has done to Aboriginal peoples is poorly understood by most Canadians. How have Aboriginal people, and non-Aboriginal people, internalized the colonial experience? What strategies are available for de-colonization? Many students have said this course has changed the way they see the world. 

Management and Financial Admin for Community Organizations - UIC 2030(3)
Instructor: Marty Donkervoort

Community-based and Aboriginal organizations that are small-scale and operate in a not-for-profit fashion in low-income communities face unique challenges. This course provides students interested in working in the inner city with a solid foundation in key elements of management and financial administration, such as financial statements and budgeting, and strategic planning, among others.  

Marty Donkervoort knows social enterprise! He was the General Manager of Inner City Renovation—a highly successfully housing construction firm that hires inner city workers. Prior to that he was the Director of Business Development at North End Community Renewal Corporation. NECRC is a Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation responsible for redevelopment efforts in 11 North End neighbourhoods. He has previously taught courses on social enterprise for Urban & Inner-City Studies and for UW’s Faculty of Business. His book, Inner City Renovation: How Social Enterprise Changes Lives and Communities will be published this Fall.

Introduction to Community Advocacy - UIC 2210(3)
Instructor: Eileen Shewchuk

This course examines ways of influencing public policy, especially around issues related to urban poverty. How can we work effectively to promote positive change with respect to such issues as housing, and social assistance? This course has the effect of empowering students. It is a core course in the UICS Department’s Certificate in Community Advocacy

History of Education in Winnipeg's Inner-City - UIC 2515(3)
Instructor: Heather Hunter

Educational outcomes are lower in the inner city than elsewhere in Winnipeg. This is a universal pattern. What explains this? What is it like to teach (and work) in the inner city? What is the relationship between education and poverty? What strategies are successful in improving inner-city educational outcomes?   

Heather Hunter has a PhD in Education, as well as years of practical teaching experience in inner city schools. She was the Principal at William Whyte Community School, and taught at R.B. Russell, Argyle Alternative High School and others. More recently she has served as Planning Advisor in the Research and Planning Branch of Manitoba Education, and as Education Research Coordinator in the office of the Deputy Minister of Education. Among her other current responsibilities, Heather is the Director of the highly successful Manitoba Education Research Network (MERN), which promotes research on Manitoba educational issues.

UIC Practicum - UIC 3001(6)
Instructor: Judith Harris

This course offers students the opportunity to spend one-half day per week working with an inner-city organization. The focus is on experiential learning. The chance to spend time in an inner-city setting and to work with and come to know inner-city residents is a unique experiential learning opportunity. 

Judith Harris is not only an Associate Professor in Urban and Inner-City Studies. She also works tirelessly in Winnipeg’s inner city, especially in building and supporting co-ops that employ inner city residents. She played a lead role in creating Front Step Research, a worker co-op that hires inner city residents to do community research. She is now working with others to create a co-op for women leaving prison. Judith has a PhD in Planning, and teaches UIC’s Urban and Community Planning, as well as her popular course, The Real Life Economy of the Inner City.

 
Urban & Community Planning - UIC/GEOG 3030(3)
Instructor: Judith Harris

How can we plan healthier and safer urban neighbourhoods? What role can planners and planning departments play in achieving this goal? How can citizens be mobilized around such efforts? What are neighbourhood housing plans, and green plans, and how are they constructed? These and related questions guide this important urban course. 

Judith Harris is not only an Associate Professor in Urban and Inner-City Studies. She also works tirelessly in Winnipeg’s inner city, especially in building and supporting co-ops that employ inner city residents. She played a lead role in creating Front Step Research, a worker co-op that hires inner city residents to do community research. She is now working with others to create a co-op for women leaving prison. Judith has a PhD in Planning, and teaches UIC’s Urban and Community Planning, as well as her popular course, The Real Life Economy of the Inner City. 

Issues in UIC: Various Topics - UIC 3100(3)
Instructor: Varies by Section

This course is offered on an occasional basis to focus the discussion of students and community resource people on specific issues that are of current interest to academics and practitioners in the field of Urban and Inner-City Studies. The topic varies from year to year. Students should consult the department on the topic and may take this course more than once for credit when topic matter changes. Some examples of topics include: Neighbourhood Revitalization; Social Enterprise; Housing and Homelessness OR Dynamics of the Inner-City.

Poverty and the Law - UIC 3240(3)
Instructor: Byron Williams & Joëlle Pastora Sala

How does the law affect low-income people? Does our legal system disadvantage the poor? If so, how? And how can the law be used to advance the interests of low-income people? This course develops students’ insight into a fundamental part of our society.  

Byron Williams is the Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Centre. He has played a lead role in conducting test case litigation in poverty law and human rights. Among his very many achievements, Byron has been successful in legal cases that have: prevented termination of the tenancies of low-income renters in the middle of winter; set the lowest interest rate cap on payday lenders in Canada; and improved tenants’ access to benefits under the Social Allowances Act. His course, Poverty and the Law, draws on his vast experience in using the law to promote social justice.