Working on exclusion means starting at the beginning, not the end. It means examining the practices we have in place (the ones we take for granted as normal) and changing them so that we don’t just value diversity but require it to thrive. It means taking ownership of obvious failures (where we see the need to include) and examining the not-so-obvious failures present in the actions we take and the structures we create that prevent inclusion at their origin and generate exclusion in their operation.
Relationships, social capital: if “community building” is meaningful as a practice, it is as the practice of forging, supporting, and stewarding relationships not just between an organization and a buncha individuals, but between those individuals. (This is one of the biggest differences between a “community” and a traditional “audience” — which will come into play in a later post when we examine common strategic missteps non-profits and governments make.)