Where would you want to meet your community?
From the project research team at IVAR
Last week we ran a session at the Co Ltd conference for community organising where the theme was building, bridging and bonding. We wanted to talk about the things community work can do to improve lives with a bunch of people who have loads of experience and an ear to the ground. Various events recently have made us think about how you bring groups together - particularly in diverse communities with different views - to tackle difficult problems and make sure people are heard. So we asked the Community Organisers what sort of spaces are needed for convening and how you might make those spaces inclusive.
Suggestions included schools and other public areas like parks, pubs, social clubs, libraries. However, one participant said that schools are not comfortable places for everyone and that some people have really difficult relationships with their children’s schools. They also pointed out that people working with communities assume that bringing together those from varied ethnic or other backgrounds is always a good thing: "We can’t ensure spaces are inclusive, we’re exhausting ourselves and may be in danger of shutting down all conversation”; sometimes, aspirations for inclusivity may be unrealistic. However, the overriding feeling from the day was that all communities are different and the most appropriate space needs to be chosen by the community.
Where would you feel most comfortable meeting a variety of people from your community? Have your say via our online survey or get in touch on twitter #Empowered2020s.