“Who else should we involve in community-level change?”
Relationships drive the work of community change forward. You are working to build relationships with a central team right now, but what about building relationships outside of your team? You need funding, resources, volunteers, and other assistance as you move through executing projects.
The work of building relationships needs to happen before asking for something from organizations or individuals–your goal is to cultivate long-term and authentic partnerships while identifying what is important to community decision-makers, potential funders, and volunteers.
In order to build strong relationships with others, you need to understand how you work with others. Continuing to learn more about yourself is important as these relationships develop.
Activities: Choose 2-3 activities to complete to identify common interests and build relationships with your team. You’ll be tempted to jump straight into the work, but understanding what matters to others on your team and how they work best is important to your long-term success. Take your time with the activities; they aren’t intended to be completed in one sitting.
Here’s your chance to take some time to think and reflect on your dreams and interests. Keep a community building journal, scribble notes on some post-its, or simply think about these questions before moving on to the next lesson!
MacKenzie Walker is a community leader in Matewan, WV who utilizes the power of relationship development to harness resources and funding for the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum. Through building powerful partnerships, the City of Matewan has completed a series of small wins and met goals through a community development process, leading to larger projects currently underway. Learn more about what’s happening in Matewan in this video.
Watch this HubCAP video highlighting Matewan and their amazing work!
We will see sustained community and economic growth in West Virginia if residents are working with a foundational structure that allows them to succeed. Shifts in public policy that break down systemic barriers to community growth and that build up this kind of enabling structure are essential. We have seen that investing in public policy work that identifies community needs and challenges – such as research, policy solution identification, and developing policy-related coalitions – leads to demonstrable impact.
Check back in July 2021 to learn more about our Policy Support work in action.
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