We spend so much time and money trying to engage the community in developing our strategies and services. Striving for inclusion and representation. To ensure that all the voices are heard.
But what if we spent some of our time and money on joining the communities in the things that they are already engaged with? Their projects? Their agendas?
I think we may slowly develop different relationships based on a very different power dynamic. I think we might build trust and understanding.
We may even get to the point where they ask us about our priorities and how they might be able to inform them, shape them and put them in to practice.
Or, to explain with honesty and respect why these priorities are not their priorities.