Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Given the mandate of the ECDC, authentic community engagement is not only desirable; it is a necessity.

“Authentic  community  engagement  is  the  intentional  process  of  co-­‐creating solutions  to  inequities  in  partnership  with  people  who  know  through  their  own experiences  the barriers  to  opportunity  best.  Authentic  community  engagement  is grounded  in building relationships  based  on  mutual respect and that acknowledge each person’s added value to developing solutions” (Source: Voices for Racial Justice).

There are numerous ways to undertake community engagement. Below is a framework we will be referencing in our work with communities.

cecontinumSource: Adapted from the IAP2

Each of the five types of engagement above reflect different kinds of relationships that the “engager” has with the “engaged.” While each can have value, when it comes to engagement of neighbourhood residents, the ECDC is committed to working, as much as possible towards the right hand side of the continuum. It is admittedly harder to collaborate than inform or empower, but the possibilities of having positive impacts on people and their communities are far greater than simply informing or consulting with residents/communities.

Over time, I will be sharing more about the ECDC’s community engagement approaches and the promises that go along with authentic engagement.

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