SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

September 08, 2015 13:00 ET

Walking in another person's shoes -- Calgary Connects

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - September 08, 2015) - The University of Calgary's Faculty of Nursing and Calgary Transit are partnering to launch the public phase of a research project called EMPaThY? which encourages Calgarians to share pictures of their feet with short personal observations about themselves on Instagram.

Throughout the month of September, a 10-card series of words and shoe images will appear on Calgary Transit CTrains and buses -- prompting Transit customers to share their own words and photos.

Registered nurse and Faculty of Nursing associate professor, Suzanne Goopy, leads the EMPaThY? campaign which feature photographs of feet accompanied by text taken from interviews with commuters. Comments like "I had a hard childhood" and "I'm lonely" contrast with "live life to the fullest" and "Calgary is a great city," and provide unique insights into how Calgarians view life, work, health and transport in their city.

"My interest is in the role that every day experiences and empathy play in our world and how awareness of each other can lead to positive health outcomes," says Goopy, whose research seeks to understand daily health experiences and welfare needs of Calgarians.

"The images of shoes are deliberate on two levels; first as a metaphor for moving about, journeying through life, and second as a visual representation of the old adage that we can only truly understand others if we take a walk in their shoes," says Goopy.

Calgarians can participate by posting photos of their shoes with a few words to Instagram using the hashtag #empathyconnects. The Instagram account for this project is @calgaryconnects2015.

The study is being supported by the City of Calgary and Calgary Transit through an Urban Alliance research sponsorship.

"We're excited to be part of this project. Calgary Transit brings life and vibrancy to the city by connecting Calgarians to people and places that matter to them," says Doug Morgan, Director of Calgary Transit. "Over half a million customers use Calgary Transit each day and everyone has a story, an experience, a commonality that we can all relate to. This project is a brilliant way of sharing those stories which gives other riders a chance to reflect on their own lives and experiences."

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at ucalgary.ca/news/media.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts
    Karen Cook
    Senior Manager, Communications, Faculty of Nursing
    University of Calgary
    W: 403.220.4361
    C: 403.869.1970
    kcook@ucalgary.ca

    Ron Collins
    Communications Coordinator
    Calgary Transit
    W: 403.537.7949
    C: 403.312.9454
    Ron.B.Collins@calgary.ca