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Reflective Essays

Vol. 25 No. 4

Considering the Role of a Bridge Person in a Community-University Partnership to Address Food Insecurity Among Migrant Families

December 3, 2019


Community-university partnerships are increasingly being used to address complex, systemic problems, such as food insecurity. However, this form of research is highly labour intensive and requires substantial time and energy. Several community-university partnerships have begun to appoint individuals who act to ‘bridge’ such partnerships to navigate complex social and political environments, and stimulate action. However, few examples exist that highlight the specific nature of these positions. To address this gap, the current paper describes the multiple and complicated roles played by a bridge person in supporting a project developed in response to food insecurity among migrant families. We outline three major roles that required varying forms of labour: 1) Solving Problems (Adaptive Labour), 2) Navigating Scarcity (Political Labour), and 3) Responding to Urgency (Emotional Labour). We intend to highlight the ambivalent spaces bridge people operate within and the implications for these individuals and the community-university partnerships they intend to support.