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Forces of Change: 5 student teams compete for a cause

On March 3, Concordia undergrads present their projects to address social issues in Montreal
March 1, 2017
By J. Latimer

Members of the 59th Garnet Key, from left: Mohammed Zokari, Chloé Evans, Michael Stein and Emilia Alvarez. Members of the 59th Garnet Key, from left: Mohammed Zokari, Chloé Evans, Michael Stein and Emilia Alvarez.

Imagine if the Concordia student body got collectively passionate about a social issue? There’s no limit to the amount of good they could do.

That’s the thinking behind Forces of Change 2017. The community challenge, being held on March 3, is organized by Concordia’s Garnet Key Society in collaboration with Advancement and Alumni Relations.

“The Garnet Keys are student ambassadors selected each year for their ability to balance high academic achievement with community involvement,” says Concordia’s president Alan Shepard.

“Forces of Change is an extension of who they are. They care and their enthusiasm is infectious.”

This year, the goal of the challenge is to mobilize students around Montreal-based social issues.

Chloé Evans, member of the 59th Garnet Key and chairperson for the initiative, cannot reveal which social issue is on deck. That’s because this year’s challenge will be presented as a real-time case competition.

However, she gives a couple of examples of what Forces of Change could address.

“Did you know one out of five high-school kids in Montreal doesn’t graduate?” asks Evans, a third-year commerce student with Concordia’s Institute for Co-operative Education who is also part of the Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program.

“And 200,000 Montrealers don’t have the bare essentials to survive. Together, we can come up with solutions to make a positive change and get everyone participating.”

Prize money for charity

For the best results, Forces of Change accepts student participants from all of Concordia’s faculties. Five teams will have three hours to solve the case, after which they’ll each make 15-minute presentations, followed by a five-minute Q&A.

A jury panel, consisting of representatives from four charitable organizations and Concordia’s dean of students Andrew Woodall will then reward the presentations with the most depth.

The winners will receive prize money, 80 per cent of which they’re mandated to donate to a charity of their choice or to use to fund an idea to aid the Montreal community.

Community jury members — Sam Watts, CEO of the Welcome Hall Mission, Michelle LeDonne of Dans la rue, Maureen Hayes of Centraide of Greater Montreal and Lynda Barrett of Volunteer West Island — will also make short presentations about how students can get involved in their organizations.

The event will close with on-site fundraising activities and a reception.

Register to participate
in Concordia’s Forces of Change.

The case competition takes place on Friday, March 3, in room E-104 of the Grey Nuns Residence (1190 Guy) on the Sir George Williams Campus. Student presentations start at 5 p.m. and the door fee is $12.


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