Inclusive Communities: Where We’re All Welcome
What do you do to make people in your community feel welcome? How do you create opportunities for people from all backgrounds to participate fully in building and improving your community?
Creating an inclusive community isn’t easy, but many places are finding ways to start building a more inclusive and welcoming culture.
Here are four strategies from cities and towns committed to inclusivity—share your own stories and ideas in the comments!
1. Make a statement. Riverside, California developed a, set of principles for building a more inclusive community. Their Inclusive Community Statement identifies the responsibilities of individuals, groups and institutions for achieving this common goal. Through maintaining an openness to dialogue, building intergroup partnerships and providing education about diversity the principles set a path toward fair treatment and equal opportunity for all residents of Riverside.
2. Spread the word. Signs line the streets in Newark, California signifying the city’s ongoing efforts to foster acceptance and inclusion.
3. Welcome newcomers. How do newcomers in your city learn about local people and places? Communities in the West Kootenay and Boundary regions of British Columbia developed welcomemap.ca, The website welcomes new immigrants to the area, and provides easier access to local information and services. Similarly, British Columbia’s North Shore developed a short video that illustrates the power of individual action in welcoming newcomers. Both efforts are part of British Columbia’s Welcoming and Inclusive Communities Initiative.
4. Adopt a resolution. Greenacres, Florida, Fort Worth, Texas and many other cities and towns have demonstrated a commitment to inclusion through the adoption of a public resolution. The National League of Cities offers a sample resolution that communities can use and build from.
On June 12th, Moki Macias and Tramunda Hodges of the Annie E. Casey Foundation will join CommunityMatters to share their experience promoting equal treatment and opportunity in community decision-making at the Foundation's Atlanta Civic Site. Join this call to hear more ideas and strategies for building inclusive communities. Register now.