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Canvassing with Compassion

  • 5 West Northrup Place Buffalo, NY, 14214 United States (map)

The Canvassing with Compassion workshop is designed to equip people with a toolbox of skills to effectively communicate evidence based messages with empathy in conversation and outreach efforts.

As scientists and activists we want to spread the word about new research, engage with friends and neighbors, and be a force for positive change in our communities.  

Miscommunication can be a barrier to that change when confronted with people who don’t agree with us or are afraid of the consequences of our message.

Katie Little, the Community Organizer for the Tonawanda Coke Soil Study had a scientific message to tell communities about an upcoming soil study. She quickly learned it was critical, to listen and respond to the stories residents wanted to tell. Tonawanda, Grand Island, and North Buffalo may have been exposed to environmental pollution as a result of industrial negligence with presently unknown consequences. Canvassing, or going door-to-door, and other forms of outreach can be difficult in situations where people may have experienced harm.

The first Canvassing with Compassion training was held in June 2017 for the TCC Soil Study Research Team. Those who attended the workshop felt the training made them more prepared for community outreach and able to respond thoughtfully to unexpected or emotionally intense scenarios. 

Join us for a workshop at the University Heights Tool Library where we discuss and put into practice skills to facilitate hard conversations effectively with Katie and Social Worker Jennifer Carlson, Director of Clinical Operations at Sheridan Medical Group.