Embracing community engagement has never been more important. If you’re hoping to enact change and see positive development in your area, you need to start by digging into the people, places, and processes that shape the community around you.
Curious to learn more? Stay with us to learn how community engagement can be a transformative experience!
Build Stronger Community Bonds
What is community engagement? Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with people and institutions within a community. This can take the form of attending local government meetings, volunteering with organizations, or working within educational spaces. It also may mean addressing a problem, such as a high drop-out rate or homeless population, more directly through work with an organization. No matter the effort, all of these collaborations are geared toward building stronger personal connections and, by extension, a more robust community.
Community engagement brings together people within a shared geographic location toward a common purpose. Without an intentional effort, communities can feel like divisive spaces that lack empathy and trust. But when community members prioritize working together, they can create spaces that make everyone want to stay.
Further, community members get to know each other as individuals when they work together. This builds understanding, empathy, and confidence. It may also spur transformative friendships that transcend the particular cause that draws people together initially.
Empower Residents to Make Changes
By engaging and getting involved, community members become empowered. They know who the key stakeholders are locally, and they know what resources are available in their community. They also know that their voices are valuable parts of decision-making processes.
Some community engagement practices include creating more open governing practices. Town halls and other meetings give residents a voice beyond the voting ballot. And they create a transparent space that can help promote trust at all levels in the community.
Participating in non-profits and serving on local committees are other ways to get involved. These activities can expand after-school activities or bring more visibility to small businesses. And when residents can see the impact in the form of higher graduation rates or more business traffic, for instance, they’ll feel empowered to continue doing more.
Start Embracing Community Engagement for Longterm Progress
Ultimately, community engagement should be a long-term effort. Quick turnarounds are unlikely. But with consistent work, communities and the people within them can reroute toward a positive outcome.
Progress may translate to creating a more inclusive community that attracts individuals from all backgrounds, for instance. This can happen through hosting open forums and cultural events. A community that looks engaged can reap additional benefits in the form of a stronger economy that encourages young people to enter the local workforce.
At OhanaHC, we pursue community engagement through our efforts to help young people thrive. If you want to support this initiative while finding fulfillment, you can do so through our volunteer opportunities. Please fill out the contact form on our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!