KPU announces first Community Impact Award winners

Mon, Jun 20, 2022

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is launching a new award to recognize partners of the institution who have made a positive impact on local communities.

The Surrey Anti-Gang Family Empowerment (SAFE) program and the Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR) are each receiving a Community Impact Award from KPU, highlighting partnerships that support the university’s vision of transforming lives and empowering positive change.

“The intent of the Community Impact Award is to recognize individuals and organizations who are strong partners of KPU and making a difference in regional communities of relevance to KPU,” says KPU President Alan Davis.

SAFE delivers 11 programs through 10 partner agencies, including KPU. Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says SAFE works to keep children and youth out of gangs while building positive life skills and increasing connections with family, school and community.

“Since its launch in 2019, the SAFE program has supported 3,037 Surrey children and youth and 411 caregivers,” he says. “The city is proud for this innovative program to be recognized in this way, and we thank KPU for the honour of receiving the Community Impact Award.”

NEVR campaigns to work toward the goal of eliminating violence in relationships in the community. It focuses on all aspects of relationship violence—physical, sexual, emotional and financial—and its effects on all members of a family and community. NEVR is composed of over 200 members from the fields of community services, education, law enforcement and government.

NEVR is hosted at KPU, and its founder and facilitator Dr. Balbir Gurm is an instructor in the university’s nursing program. Gurm says NEVR members have raised awareness, hosted conferences, created toolkits, published a book and continue to work toward NEVR’s vision of ending violence.

“You don’t hear much about relationship violence, and it kills so many people,” says Gurm. “If we don’t do prevention we will never have resources to deal with the challenge.”

Recipients of the awards, presented June 16 at KPU Surrey, received a painting by artist Alison Curtis, a KPU alumnus whose work explores the roles that form and colour play in tricking the eye and fragment space. The paintings are meant to serve as reminders of the ways in which KPU and its partners come together and share collaborative spaces.

Presented annually, the Community Impact Award is made possible through KPU’s Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic. Nominations can be submitted through