What does it mean to center culture in community engagement? How do our cultural identities impact our relationships in community? How do we get closer to our own stories in order to move away from extractive relationships toward reciprocal relationships?
On November 1st, 2018, Nexus Community Engagement Institute (NCEI) hosted the final Engaged Learning Series of 2018 to explore: What’s Your Story? How Identity & Culture Impact Community Engagement.
Introductions at tables began with creating and sharing I Am Poems, many of which were left to share back with the group.
Panelists Bilal Alkatout, Roxanne Anderson, Vina Kay and Susan Phillips spent the second half of the session sharing how personal identities have influenced how they are engaged, and how they engage others in community. Listen to the video below to hear their I Am Poem introductions.
Following introductions, NCEI program director Avi Viswanathan asked the panel three questions followed by audience-panel Q&A. Check out the videos below to hear their responses to each question.
Question 1: What does it mean to you to center culture in community engagement work? What identities are you drawing from?
Question 2: How have your cultural identities been impacted by or impacted others when engaging community – either negatively or positively?
Question 3: What advice would you give to this group to build authentic relationships centered in identity and culture?
This Engaged Learning Series was a brief two and a half hours to begin the discussion about centering culture and identity in community engagement. Feedback from the group included a need to further explore cross-class perspectives and deeper discussion around the impact of white supremacy in community engagement. We hope to continue supporting each other at future Engaged Learning Series in these topics as well as other opportunities and challenges in community engagement.
Check back here to register for future convenings. We hope to see you then!