RPIRG News & Events


An Open Letter In Support of Camp: Justice for Our Stolen Children

To: Minister of Justice, Don Morgan; Minister of Social Services, Paul Marriman; and Deputy Minister of Central Services, Richard Murray;

This morning, representatives from Camp: Justice for Our Stolen Children, along with other organizations and members of our community, extended an invitation to you to meet with them at the camp on June 20, and to participate in a community Blanket Exercise on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21. The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) would like to formally urge you to accept this invitation, and enter into meaningful engagements with the camp and Indigenous peoples.

In the province of Saskatchewan, Indigenous children make up 85% of children in state care, the number of Indigenous children currently in care exceeds the number of children taken by the Residential School system, and is being called the ‘millenial scoop’.  Indigenous adults make up a similarly disproportionate percentage of the prison population – it is important to note that many were previously children in the child welfare system but were not given the support or tools needed to succeed after their time in foster care. These numbers are a direct result of policies and practices within your respective ministries and that is why you have been invited to meet with, listen to, and learn from the community at Camp: Justice for Our Stolen Children. These numbers reflect the deeply rooted and systemic racism that exists here in our province, and should serve as a call to the Government of Saskatchewan to take immediate and meaningful action to reduce these statistics.

The community at Camp: Justice for Our Stolen Children are there to hold space for families torn apart by the actions of your respective ministries, and to hold you accountable as leaders, as neighbours, and as Treaty people. As elected members of the legislative assembly, you govern with power afforded you through numbered treaties 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10, as such you have a responsibility to uphold those treaties by honouring Indigenous rights and listening to the voices of Indigenous families, like those represented at the camp, when they tell you what is needed for justice to prevail.

We ask that you respect the camp, and their sacred fire, by lifting the notices of eviction, and by initiating and honouring protocols for discussion. We ask you to do so by leaving your seat of power, and meeting at the camp with humility and respect for the important work that is being done there.  We ask that you, and your colleagues and staff, participate in the community Blanket Exercise. This would send a clear message that you are willing to learn and listen.

As National Indigenous Peoples Day approaches, we urge you to recognize the history of this land we inhabit. Do your part to name, take responsibility for, and rectify both the historic and current injustices that mark the relationships between settler and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. There can be no reconciliation without justice.

Sincerely;

The board, staff, and membership of
The Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG)

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**STUDENT JOB OPPORTUNITY** – Plant Health Care Model project caretaker

Job Description: Plant Health Care Model Project Caretaker

 **This position is only being offered to students at the University of Regina**

The Plant Health Care Model (PHCM) project is managed by Professor Tanya Dahms in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Its purpose is to research the viability of implementing a wide scale pesticide-free weed management program. A PHCM pilot project has been running for approximately the last 5 years, testing best practices on some of the green spaces in or adjacent to the Dr. Lloyd Barber Academic Green.

For approximately the last 3 years, RPIRG has partnered with the PHCM project to hire and manage a part-time summer student to oversee maintenance of the project.

For more information on the PHCM project, please contact us or visit: https://www.uregina.ca/president/campus-sustainability/PHCM.html

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate workplan with project manager
  • Coordinate use of supplies and materials (and volunteers if deemed necessary) with Green Patch coordinator
  • Work with other service providers if necessary
  • Regular hand weeding of managed spaces
  • Manage application(s) of kelp fertilizer and compost tea to managed spaces
  • Notify youth camps and daycares about application days
  • Complete final report

Requirements:

There is no direct weed management experience necessary for this position – but an ability to follow safe outdoor work practices is required

  • Must be a current student at the University of Regina, or returning to classes in the fall
  • Availability that fits into the weekly maintenance schedule of the project
  • Must complete final report at end of term

**This position is only being offered to students at the University of Regina**

Skills/Abilities:

  • Ability to follow safe outdoor work practices
  • Able to work outdoors in the summer in direct sun, possess own proper clothing
  • Able to bear weight of full liquid compost tea applicators (in backpack form)
  • WHMIS basic training is required for this position, but can be provided upon hiring
  • Ability to work mostly unsupervised
  • Summary report writing

Contract Period: May 28 – September 30, 2018

Hours of Work: approximately 9 hours/week. Application weeks may require more hours, but can be balanced out with less hours other weeks. Wages are paid in the form of the monthly stipend and the successful candidate will be responsible for declaring relevant tax and other deductions.

Remuneration: monthly stipend, based on an hourly rate of $17.50, at 9 hours/week.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, May 23rd at 4pm.

To apply, please email the following information to info@rpirg.org:

  • Resume
  • In email, please note your student number and describe any relevant work experience (we do not need a full cover letter)
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Naloxone Training Opportunities

Due to high interest expressed by students and the community, SEARCH will be hosting additional Naloxone Training sessions with FNIHB Regional Pharmacist, Katherine Windl.

Please fill out the Google form to register for an upcoming SEARCH Professional Development Seminar session: https://goo.gl/qgdtdq

All are welcome to attend and registration is free. Exact Room Locations TBD.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/232987623912907/

 

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**STUDENT JOB OPPORTUNITY** Green Patch Coordinator

*update* – if you sent in an application for this position between 4pm on March 22 and 11am on March 23, there is a chance that due to a server issue we were unable to receive it. Please re-send it and we will respond when we have filed it. Apologies for any inconvenience!**

Job Description: RPIRG Green Patch Coordinator
**This position is only being offered to students at the University of Regina**

The RPIRG Green Patch is a 5400 sq ft vegetable garden behind the Dr. John Archer Library at the U of R. It’s a source of sustainable, locally grown organic food – part of a campus movement for community engagement and sustainable development.

The Green Patch is run by the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG), a student-run, student-funded non-profit organization dedicated to community-based research, education, action and awareness in the public interest. RPIRG exists to provide its members with the resources to be active citizens on the University of Regina campus and in the greater community. RPIRG has been in operation since 2007.

In partnership with Wascana Centre Authority, Facilities Management at the U of R, the La Cité universitaire francophone, and First Nations University of Canada, we are seeking a knowledgeable and self-motivated student to supervise and coordinate the seventh season of the RPIRG Green Patch.

For more garden information, please visit here.

**This position is only being offered to students at the University of Regina**

Responsibilities:

  • Planning garden plot contents and leading spring planting.
  • Recruiting and managing volunteers for garden planting, maintenance, and harvesting.
  • Ensuring the general maintenance of the garden, including following-up with volunteer work.
  • Supervising harvests, and coordinating distribution between volunteers and community partners.
  • Participating in steering committee meetings, as well as providing all relevant information to the steering committee, including bi-monthly activity reports.
  • Establishing contacts and maintaining communication with students, campus groups, U of R faculty, and community groups for the purpose of outreach and community awareness of the garden.
  • Developing and coordinating workshops and lessons on a variety of garden-related topics for university and community members, U of R classes, and campus organizations
  • Producing a post-harvest report with a summary of activities and recommendations for future years of the project.
  • Liaising with campus or community partners on other projects related to the garden.

 Requirements:

Knowledge of:

  • Planting seasons and ideal growing conditions for various plants and vegetables in Saskatchewan
  • Organic garden upkeep and maintenance, including watering, weeding, pest management, etc.
  • Volunteer management, recruitment, and retention
  • Outreach work as well as event and workshop planning/leading

Skills/Abilities:

  • Interest in, and willingness to work in a leadership role with student and community volunteers
  • Experience planting and harvesting a variety of plants and vegetables
  • Self-motivated, ability to work without supervision, while taking directions from a committee
  • Computer skills (internet, word processing, spreadsheets)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and willingness to raise awareness about the garden in various capacities
  • Event and workshop planning experience

Contract Period: April 23 – September 28, 2018

Hours of Work: 30 hours per week, with potential for more depending on the feasibility of garden related projects. Hours are flexible.

Remuneration: $16.46/hour plus vacation pay.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 4th at 4pm.

To apply, please email* your cover letter and resume to info@rpirg.org.

*Please submit everything in one document, and label it as:

‘Your Name – cover letter and resume’ (for ex. ‘Krystal Lewis – cover letter and resume.docx’)


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Official Statement on Stanley Trial Verdict

Feb 16, 2018

It has been one week since Gerald Stanley was found not guilty in the killing of 22 year old Colten Boushie last August. One week since a murderer walked free of any responsibility for taking a young man’s life.

We want to publicly state that we stand with Colten’s family and community as they continue their fight for justice, just as we stand with the families and communities of other young Indigenous people who have been taken, mistreated, ignored, and denied participation in and closure by the colonial justice system.

As young people and as students there is much we can do to take action and make change; to push for more justice and better futures for ourselves and our peers. For non-Indigenous students in particular, we have countless opportunities and a heavy obligation to take the knowledge we have access to here in university back to our families and communities. We need to avail ourselves of each and every resource here on campus to increase our understandings of Indigenous cultures, histories, and relationships to settler governments; we need to learn to decolonize our minds and hearts, and to take those learnings with us to our roles in the workforce, in the community, and in our families. In the wake of this trial and verdict, it has become clear that our settler communities need help to find empathy, understanding, and compassion for Indigenous struggles, and it is up to us non-Indigenous young people to undertake that work.

For Indigenous youth, we understand that this verdict and the vitriol surrounding it is but another in a constant stream of reminders that Canada does not see your worth or your strength. That we as a society have failed to value and respect you as you deserve to be. But we, as your peers here on the University of Regina campus and young folks in Saskatchewan, want you to know that we see and acknowledge your worth, your resilience, and your resistance. We know that your lives matter, and we stand with you against the colonial systems which continue to take your lives, mistreat you, ignore you, and actively deny your participation and leadership.

In Solidarity;

The staff and board of RPIRG

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Community Congress 2018

To compliment the University of Regina’s hosting of the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesUR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, and the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) are excited to be hosting Community Congress; a complimentary event that prioritizes the knowledge and voices of non-professional academics interested in making academia accessible and creating dialogue about barriers that exist in academia for meaningful participation of all knowledge-holders.

Community Congress will take place from May 27th – June 1st 2018.

Community Congress is, in no way, affiliated with the 2018 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

To find out more about the Community Congress and/or to submit a proposal for an event or presentation you would like us to include, please visit the UR Pride Community Congress Page. 

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Update on ASL interpretation for Apathy into Action 2018

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will no longer be able to provide ASL interpretation for our panel discussion tomorrow afternoon. We apologize for the short notice on this, and any inconvenience this may cause.

We had been very much looking forward to incorporating this into our programming, we recognize how important it is to design our spaces to include as many people as possible. Unfortunately, the interpreter available sustained an injury and can no longer join us. We wish her a speedy recovery!

This was our first time utilizing the services of Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and through the process we learned just how hard it is to access ASL interpretation in Saskatchewan because there is so little infrastructure, and such a shortage of certified interpreters.

We are hoping to be able to work with Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services again in the future – they have been wonderful to talk to and plan with, and we encourage groups or organizations to reach out to them if you’re considering the same. The more visible these services are, the more they become normalized and expected in community spaces. RPIRG is dedicated to continuing to make our programs accessible, safe, and welcoming to everyone in our community.

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Apathy into Action 2018 Panel Information

Apathy into Action – Faith and social justice panel – 3:30-5pm

Karen Nurkowski from Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (SDHHS) will be providing ASL interpretation for this panel. The moderator will ask the prepared questions below, and at approximately 4:30 we will have a 20 minute public Q&A session.

Maysa Haque is a Masters student in the University of Regina’s Department of Religious Studies. She recently completed a Bachelors of Arts & Science at McMaster University, where she studied young Canadian Muslim women’s perceptions and experiences of menstruation. Her academic and activist interests include Islam, feminism and gender-inclusive religious movements. She also loves cats.

Cam Fraser, the minister at Knox Metropolitan United Church, is interested in churches moving beyond acts of charity to resisting, critiquing, and opposing systems of injustice (many of which churches have lamentably been part of creating). Cam is currently working on a Masters exploring radical readings of the Christian tradition ‘from the edges’ that challenge the church’s own complicity in empire and oppression. Cam definitively does not believe in a literal hell (with flames or pitchforks) or that gay people (or anyone else) would go there if there was one. When it comes to God, Cam is fairly convinced that she does not favour Christians over any other group of humans (and may in fact often find them kind of frustrating).

Gagan Deep Singh is an Electrical Engineer by profession. He completed his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from India.  He was admitted to Masters program at the University of Saskatchewan and is currently working as a Senior Engineer. Mr. Singh is from the Sikh faith and has been active in the community performing various roles. He is the recipient of Spiritual Service Award from the Regina Multi-Faith Forum.  He has been a President of provincial organization called Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and also acted as a Chairperson of Regina Multi-Faith Forum. Currently, he is serving these organizations as a board member. He has been involved in various projects at the community level to promote mutual understanding among faith groups through education and awareness.

The Panel will be hosted by Risa Payant, the Executive Director of Common Weal Community Arts and an all around awesome community minded person who originally asked us to tackle this topic at Apathy Into Action. Risa is curious about the relationship between religion and social justice, particularly in cases where religion seems to be historically counter to progressive movements. She is excited to explore the topic of social, economic, and environmental justice through the lense of faith and religion.

Risa’s questions will be as follows (or based on these):

1) How does your faith and/or religion inform your approaches to justice issues in your community and globally? Is there a specific event or movement that has called you to action?

2) What opportunities does faith and/or religion present for self care and community care in building sustainable justice movements?

3) How can non-religious activists and organizers work across communities to support solidarity and build movements that are inclusive of all faiths and religions?

4) How has your faith/religious community’s relationship to social justice evolved or changed in recent times? How do you see it evolving now?

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We’re hiring! Generating Momentum Program Coordinator

Job Posting – Generating Momentum Program Coordinator

**Must be a University of Regina Student to apply**

Generating Momentum is an activist leadership training camp for youth between the ages of 18-35. The camp is focused on educating, training, and organizing around social and environmental justice issues, and giving youth the tools to make meaningful change in their communities. The camp discusses the interconnectedness of social, economic, ecologic, or global justice issues through topics such as, sexuality, gender, allyship, decolonization, and environmental justice. The camp also fosters the practical skills, knowledge, education, and networking opportunities necessary for participants to make a difference in their local communities and around the world.

Generating Momentum will run for four days, from August 23-26th, 2018, and will take place at Arlington Beach Camp (Last Mountain Lake, SK). Over the past 7 years the camp has run, around 50-70 participants have travelled from around Saskatchewan each year to attend.

For more information about Generating Momentum, check out the website: https://generatingmomentumcamp.wordpress.com/

This camp is run in partnership between the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG – rpirg.org) and the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC – earthbeat.sk.ca).

 

Responsibilities

The coordinator will be responsible for managing all aspects of the camp, with oversight and help from the Generating Momentum Planning Committee.

Registration

  • Create camp registration form and manage registrations and payments
  • Coordinate carpooling for campers
  • Communicate with campers regarding camp logistics and any dietary or other needs

Advertising and Outreach

  • Design poster and flyers
  • Advertise and promote the camp through various channels
  • Update and manage the Generating Momentum website
  • Manage social media promotion and content for the camp

Camp Logistics

  • Book facilitators and communicate with them regarding workshop format and camp logistics
  • Hire and liaise with caterer (if needed)
  • Create and assemble camp handbook
  • Complete other tasks as they arise
  • Coordinate childcare
  • Liaise with Arlington Beach Camp regarding facility needs

Fundraising

  • Apply for additional grants to cover camp costs
  • Send letters to organization requesting sponsorship  

Camp Weekend

  • Attend Generating Momentum on Aug 23-26, 2018
  • Manage daily schedule of camp – announcements, facilitator introductions, logistics as necessary, etc.

Organizational Coordination

  • Ensuring detailed records and documentation are kept for debrief, grant reporting, and future planning

Camp Follow-Up

  • Conduct a focus group to gain feedback from participants and facilitators
  • Compile comments and feedback from evaluation forms
  • Complete a summary report by September 15th, 2018

 

Qualifications and Experience:

General

  • **Must be a University of Regina Student to apply**
  • Previous camp or conference coordination is an asset, but not necessary
  • Technical abilities – experience with Microsoft word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop or Canva, and WordPress
  • Event facilitation skills an asset
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and experience with public speaking
  • Knowledge of anti-oppressive approaches and inclusive program design an asset
  • Interest in social justice issues and community engagement is important

Event planning

  • Experience applying for grants or requesting sponsorship
  • Experience working in collaborative environments – ability to work cooperatively with others to set goals, resolve conflicts, and make decisions, both give and receive direction
  • Excellent time management, decision making, organizational, problem-solving and interpersonal skills – to prioritize multiple tasks and deadlines
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain positive, strategic working relationships with key stakeholders and decision-makers
  • Must be able to work independently

Event promotion

  • Experience using Photoshop, Canva, or equivalent program to create posters and promotion materials
  • Experience managing various social media accounts and promoting events online
  • Ability to update and manage a WordPress website

Contract Period: This position is an 8-month contract from Feb 12 to September 15, 2018

Hours of Work: 10 hours per week from Feb 12 – April 30, 25 hours a week from May 1 – Sept 15, and 40 hours for the week of the camp (Aug 20-26, 2017). Hours are flexible

Remuneration: $16.46/hour, plus vacation pay

Application Deadline: January 31, 2018 at 4pm

Please email your cover letter AND resume to info@rpirg.org

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Apathy into Action 2018 Schedule!

This year’s Apathy into Action Social Justice Conference will take place January 19th and 20th @ the RIC Atrium on the University of Regina main campus. Please see this link for details about our venue. If you have any questions you may contact Julian at outreach@rpirg.org.

Friday January 19:

10:30am – “Unclear Future: Living With Uranium” Author reading w/ Bernadette Wagner

Bernadette Wagner is a multi-genre writer, editor, and community-based organizer. Her work has appeared on many platforms. Bernadette is nearing completion of a mixed-genre manuscript about uranium and its human implications. Her research took her to Canada’s role in the development of Little Boy, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, as well as to some other global hotspots. Join Bernadette to explore Saskatchewan’s role in the industry through poetry and creative nonfiction.

11:30am – “Colonialism No More” w/ Prescott Demas & Michelle Stewart 

In the spring of 2016 activists in Regina set up a tent city occupation outside the regional office of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), calling themselves the Colonialism No More Solidarity Camp. Expecting to be there for 24 hours, they ended up staying for four months. This session will focus on current projects and campaigns that Colonialism No More is working on including dismantling white supremacy in public spaces and challenging racialized and militarised policing practices. This Session will be hosted by Prescott Demas and Michelle Stewart who have been involved with Colonialism No More since the 2016 camp.

FREE PIZZA LUNCH PROVIDED 

1:30pm – “Fat Feminism” w/ Mia Bell 

Mia Bell is a student at the University of Regina, completing her studies in psychology and visual arts. She is a fat feminist and fat activist, who is passionate about body politics. Mia is especially interested in the ways that anti-fat bias and sizeism intersect with other forms of oppression (i.e. sexism, racism, ableism, classism). She enjoys learning, listening, and cuddling with her cats. In future, Mia plans to pursue a degree in visual arts therapy, combining her affinity for mental health and creative expression.

2:30pm – “Being a Radical Trans-Accomplice” w/ Cat Haines presented by UR Pride

Cat Haines is a trans woman, lesbian, and currently the program coordinator at the UR Pride Centre for Sexuality and Gender Diversity. Understanding the complexities and nuances of gender is critical for anyone hoping to work with the trans community, or simply support the transgender people their their lives. Through a series of open discussions and journaling exercises, this workshop seeks to help you better understand your personal relationship to gender, as well as provide a glimpse into the ongoing labour that is expected of many transgender individuals in order to access  healthcare, and in many cases, basic human dignity.

3:30pm PANEL “Faith & Social Justice” w/ Maysa Haque, Cam Fraser, and Gagan Deep Singh. Presented by Common Weal Community Arts

*UPDATE: we are no longer able to provide ASL interpretation as planned for this session, due to our interpreter sustaining an injury. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We will work to provide more opportunities for this in the future*

This multi-faith panel will feature perspectives on social, environmental, and global justice through the lens of faith and religious practice. We present this panel in conjunction with Common Weal Community Arts to question the assumptions that religion is inherently regressive or conservative and have invited Christian, Muslim, and Sikh community members to discuss how their faith informs their justice work, how faith contributes to self care and community care, and how activists and organizers can better work across faith communities to foster solidarity and build inclusive movements.

6:00pm – RPIRG January Social w/ Neeched Up Games

RPIRG and Janelle Pewapsconias of Neeched Up Games will be hosting a human sized board game! Neeched Up Games provides Indigenous knowledge board games, card games, apps, and educational resources to empower people in Indigenous culture! Through games and engaging discussion we can overcome discrimination and misinformation by challenging it utilizing our knowledge of Indigenous culture, history, and perspectives.
This event is FREE, however, we do ask that you take a moment to register here!

Saturday January 20th

Registration is required for Saturday sessions as space in limited! Please follow this link to register. 

9:00am – “Mapping Line 3” w/ Barb Lavallee

Line 3 is a proposed Enbridge crude oil pipeline that plans to stretch from Alberta to Wisconsin, passing through Saskatchewan. It is a contentious pipeline in that is currently being met with resistance for several important reasons from many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, as well as environmental activists and organizations in areas all along the pipeline route.

Barbara Lavallee is an Independent Heritage Compliance Monitor. She focuses on environmental sustainability by bridging the gap of Western science and traditional ecological knowledge. Barbara is a Traditional Knowledge Keeper from Cowessess First Nation, residing on Piapot First Nation. To gain better context and language surrounding Line 3, Barbara Lavallee will outline common industry language, pipeline approval processes and government involvement, ways local communities will be affected, and threats to the local watershed as well as cultural and sacred Indigenous sites. The last part of the workshop will highlight ongoing resistance efforts, and provide participants with resources and ideas about how they can learn more and plug into what’s going on.

FREE LUNCH PROVIDED

1:00pm – “Media Training” w/ Ivan Muzychka (presented by: Next Up Saskatchewan!

Ivan Muzychka, who has over 25 years communications experience, much of it in media relations. He is currently a senior communications advisor with the Saskatchewan Medical Association. Speaking to media representatives can be an anxiety-inducing experience for many leaders. However, communicating through the media is sometimes the best way to connect with your key stakeholders and others, provided the encounter is handled carefully. This session will introduce participants to the basics of media relations, and will cover some basic pointers for doing successful media interviews. The session includes several practice TV interviews based on actual issues you and your organization may be facing.

1:00pm – “Crude Power” Screening & Talk w/ Katie Doke Sawatzky & Janelle Blakley 

In 2017, a collaborative investigative journalism project dominated news cycles to ask us, what is the real price of Saskatchewan’s oil industry? Out of that project, the film ‘Crude Power’ was produced to “shine a light on the oil industries substantial influence on government policy and reveal who benefits and who is hurt”. Janelle and Katie Doke Sawatzky, U of R Journalism students who worked on this project, will talk about investigative journalism, speaking truth to power, and how student initiative and hard work can have huge impacts on our community.

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