What is a Community? by Elkanah
WE WANT TO START BY ENSURING THAT WE CAN ALL ARRIVE AT SOMETHING THAT IS COMMON:
DEFINITION OF A COMMUNITY: - A neighbourhood, home, a place we work. -A place where people feel they belong. -A group defined by common characteristics. -Culture, Ethnicity, Race, Age, Profession. -A community of Scholars. -A caring community.
TO REACH A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF A COMMUNITY WE HAVE TO LOOK AT: -History - Population Trends -Geography - City and Regional limits -People - Education levels -Institutions - Churches -Leadership - Who are the key players.
KNOWING OUR COMMUNITY IS VITAL. We need to know where the Community was before we got here. What do we see happening to the population because of the growth or the lack of growth. What is the market place and what are the trends. Education Levels - Could we arrive at what we can say is a basic Educational Level. What are some of the institutions that support our community. Can we site the organizations that do the after hour education.
HOW DO WE LEARN VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY: *Public Libraries*People *Archives*Newspapers, Internet, *Planning Departments Reports. It is important to know our ethno-cultural community and its voting pattern. How do we support someone who has political aspirations. People tend not to put themselves forward because they don't know what support they will have. It is important to know what support is available.
HOW CAN WE INFLUENCE AND AFFECT CHANGE AND PLANNING IN OUR COMMUNITY: a. Find out through keeping abreast of upcoming changes through the Media. b. We can have input on how our community is going by keeping informed. c. Who is the person behind the person who puts the newspaper out and what is their motivation. d. How do we get those individuals to attend our function and give our group support. e. How can our group respond.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO INCLUDE SENIOR CITIZENS, MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY DISABLED PERSONS BECAUSE THEY ARE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES IN DURHAM: - Education - Elementary and Secondary - Lack of Parent Involvement - Parent Support and Education
- There is a need for more Role Models. - Counselling - Streaming - College and Universities Access and Retention - Staffing - Curriclum Services - Employment and Skills Development - Unemployment and Job Training - entrepreneurship.
POLICE AND MINORITY RELATIONS: a. Community Policing - How the police and the community can work together. b. Most race problems come out of reactive. c. We must keep in mind pro-active versus re-active. d. Pro-active is before the fire happens we ask ourselves what can we do to avoid the fire. eg. Too much energy went into putting out the fire and we need a group that has the energy to start building and implementing to avoid the fire.
MUNICIPAL SERVICES: Libraries, Parks and Recreation Employment Equity - Appointment Equity, Media - Information and Portrayal Housing - Discrimination and Public Housing, Criminal Justice - Fairness and Rehabilitation *WE DON'T WANT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM*
HOW DO WE GET INVOLVED? We have two classes of people DISCRIMINATOR AND DISCRIMINATEE. We have to deal with the reality of the problem they create. Most of the problem is not ours. We
must take the skills and ideas we have learned and use them to help implement change in our community. What are we providing for our young people and how do we let them know that it is out there? We must use Marketing and Promotion to let our youth know what is available for them. We must prove that we deserve what we are asking for and we are willing to work for it. There is a lack of representation on decision and policy making Boards. A lack of representation on School Boards. There must be an implementation of leadership training for our young people. Lack of Succession Planning. Dealing with discrimination in the Educational system, we must identify the gifted kids and give them a chance. We must educate our youth on dealing with peer pressure, streaming, stereotyping, sexual and racial harrassment.
*IN OUR COMMUNITY WE NEED A DEPARTMENT OR A REGIONAL COMMITTEE THAT DEAL WITH RACE RELATIONS* *A group of people have to get together, set and implement a plan. We must work together and ask other communities for help. We have to work on the plan until we get other people to buy into it.
LOBBY - When we are trying to get money from a group or agency never lobby. Lobby groups are not accepted.
ADVOCACY - When we feel strongly about an issue, we will talk to people and find other advocates and we continue until we get results.
WE HAVE TO START BREAKING THE CYCLE As a victim several things happen to us to put us in this cycle. People who have the problem will have to break out of their cycle.
WHO OWNS THE PROBLEM OF PREJUDICE? - When the court says it is discrimination and that it was a prejudice act, they prosecute. - Did anyone bother to ask WHY? - We have to face the fact that we have a problem - We have to educate ourselves by not feeling guilty or responsible. * ITS A SHARED RESPONSIBLITY * WE CAN'T SEPARATE THE RESPONSIBILITY * IT BECOMES A COMMUNITY PROBLEM, A PROBLEM IS A PROBLEM - We have to do the advocacy to ensure that this does not happen again.
WE MUST DO ACTIVE LISTENING: Brainstorming - Throw out our ideas and get a longer list than we would have had by ourself.
Community Analysis - Putting things together in writing to implement change.
Reports / Plan of Action - Putting together a report with a plan of action to deal with the community concerns.