Charles Coderre. M.Ed.
Charles is the program designer for this Engage for Change programs. He has been involved in Vancouver, Canada’s social advocacy scene for almost 20 years as a community media programmer on local radio and television. Charles believes in the power of citizen advocacy for progressive change at the local level. He has worked with media to bring the stories and stances of local anti-poverty advocates into the public realm. As a result, we have seen much change and empowerment for our most vulnerable citizens in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.
Academic and Professional Background
Charles has been teaching English Language Learners (ELL/ESL) and adult literacy for the bulk of his career at the community college and senior secondary school levels. He has a Master’s in Adult Education from the University of Waterloo where he specialized in Empowerment Education program development for adult workers with English as their Second Language (ESL). His undergraduate degree is in Environmental Science, so he is just as comfortable getting students out into nature and identifying the various types of beautiful plants and animals that in BC as he is working in an audio/video editing studio through the rain-soaked days. He uses mixed mode online delivery to bring progressive community development organizational ideas across the world. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Level Certificate in Digital Technology at UBC completely online. Aside from his career as an educator and curriculum designer, he has worked as a Provincial government policy analyst and writer.
Though born on the British Columbia West Coast, Charles was raised as an “army brat”, moving all over Canada. He spent a brief part of his early childhood in Birmingham, England. He was the kid running around with the tape recorder when he was ten making mock news commentary and interviewing neighbours on my street. In high school he picked up an acoustic guitar, discovered Canadian social artist Bruce Cockburn and has been playing various styles of acoustic and electric guitar ever since.
One of his most formative experiences was to pick up and move to Tokyo Japan to teach English when he was 36 years old in the year 2000. He stayed for two years and explored the country and its culture and history. He still speaks conversational Japanese with my many Japanese friends in Vancouver and worldwide.
He is a highly collaborative person who believes in compassionate listening and clear communication. Giving voice to those who don’t have a traditional voice, in various forms of media delivery, is a pet project of his. Therefore, as a videographer with a Digital Media Production certificate from Langara College, he has been placing the camera in the hands of immigrant youth and guiding them to create their own stories and to tell them suing the social media tools available to them.
Charles is a person who loves lifelong learning, self-empowerment, and cultural engagement with many types of people from many cultures. He is a strong ally of the LGBTQ+ community and has recently discovered his Metis ancestry. He believes that this type of self-awareness requires much historical and artistic research that comes from the people in those communities themselves. Therefore, his bookshelves and travels are filled with books and guides about cultures world-wide. Even musically, he is an avid fan of Japanese Rock and Korean K-Pop along with British and European electronic music.
When people try to pin Charles down politically, they are sometimes surprised to find he is an “outspoken moderate” as moderate people here in Canada are rather the silent majority. As such, he believes in rational discourse where different viewpoints, short of vitriolic hatred, are taken into careful consideration. Since he has a Science background, he believes that where scientific and social evidence is available, solid evidence should be analyzed to back up civic policy. However, the consideration of cultural perspectives such as First Nations land rights and reconciliation with our indigenous peoples – recognizing the perspectives of any traditionally oppressed societal group – is also paramount for true community building decisions.