WHAT IS COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT?
"Nothing about us, without us!"
Community engagement is the process of building relationships and working collaboratively with groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting them. Community engagement is a continuum that at its core is about equity.
"If it's not your struggle, it's invisible to you." ---Dr. S. Atyia Martin, CEM
There is a great deal a confusion about what community engagement actually is and why it's important. True community engagement ensures that the expertise of those impacted are part of the decisionmaking process. However, there are many barriers to doing this successfully including distrust between people and institutions, lack of strategic planning, historic and present day policies and practices that perpetuate inequities, and many more.
"In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity." ---Albert Einstein
Building relationships in communities requires authentic approaches that consciously and intentionally create the space for critical thinking to challenge our assumptions and support collective problem solving. This is an opportunity to create better outcomes through partnering with communities, managing our bias, and activating our collective humility, humanity, and hope.
All Aces, Inc. works with people, communities, and organizations to develop and implement equitable community engagement strategies that build upon existing relationships and expands the network of stakeholders necessary for success. We provide consulting, workshops, training, and speaking programs on this issue.