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Professor Michelle LeBarron is exploring the role of arts in fostering a sense of belonging, resilience and connection among communities.

Four years ago, Professor LeBaron noticed that the Government of Canada’s counter-terrorism strategy is built around the concept of resilience. She was intrigued that resilience was central to national security. As the strategy defines it, resilience includes a strong emphasis on prevention and ensuring that communities are both strong and aware of people who feel excluded. Research shows that when individuals have a sense of belonging, they are less vulnerable to violent extremist rhetoric. The policy goal involves increasing social cohesion and deepening partnerships with communities to prevent violent escalation either within or outside Canada. In the event of a violent attack, this work would also contribute to the capacity of a community to come together again in the aftermath.

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We all have a hand in shaping campus environments that support health, wellbeing, and sustainability. By championing wellbeing, we can build stronger and more inclusive communities at UBC and beyond.