This guiding practice focuses on reflecting, identifying and incorporating community context into your work. Better understanding of your community’s context requires pausing to reflect and take stock of the meaningful work and strengths that already exist within your community. By identifying what work, people, groups or resources are currently acting within your community, you may be able to more successfully align your work with existing groups and identify unmet needs within the community.
With this guiding practice, you will be asked to consider how your group/members perceive the landscape of needs and work being done in your community as a whole, and analyze where and how your work fits in. It is an opportunity to ensure that the work you are proposing to do is informed by the whole community, rather than a small group. This can be advantageous in building for redundancy and resilience, identifying needs gaps, and considering non-traditional partners or allies for your work.
This may resonate with groups that are grappling with questions like:
- How can a broader representation of the community be engaged in my work?
- How can I expand the groups I am working with?
- How much of my work is driven by community interests, needs, requests?
- How do I check in to ensure the work is equitable and generated by the community itself?