Rich Janzen has worked at CCBR since 1996, becoming Research Director in 2004 and Co-Executive Director in 2017. Rich sees research as a tool for social innovation and change - to find new ways of bringing people who are on the edge of society to live within community as full and equal members. Rich has an academic background in community psychology and religious studies. He is an adjunct associate professor at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo.
Rich has been involved in many (over 130) community-based research and knowledge mobilization projects. These projects have focused on a range of issues including immigrants and refugees, community mental health, disabilities, family support, and faith and justice. This breadth of work has involved multi-partner research initiatives, program and systems change evaluation, and needs assessment with direct policy impact. He is author of over 40 academic publications, over 155 technical research reports, and presenter at over 70 conferences.
Rich is a community facilitator and mobilizer. He regularly supports community groups in better understanding their pressing issues and in developing focused strategies to address them. The workshops and community events that he facilitates stress the importance of collaboration for collective impact. Increasingly he is being asked to train academic audiences about how how to effectively engage community groups in research and action.
Rich has visited over 40 countries around the world and previously worked as a cross-cultural social planner in Toronto. He now lives with his family in Waterloo, Ontario. Rich is a member of a community-minded Mennonite church active in a multicultural neighbourhood of Kitchener. He has self-published two family history books.