Date of this Version
Inclusive communities are places where all citizens feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. In Midland, MI, a dedicated group of citizens has made a community-wide culture of inclusion their priority. These are the members of the Midland Cultural Awareness Coalition (CAC), a community-based initiative which has attracted a diverse group of stakeholders from a broad cross-section of Midland County. This spring, CAC leaders have collaborated with a team of graduate students (Team Black) enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (MAPP). As part of their semester-long course in Applying Positive Interventions in Institutions, Team Black identified CAC’s organizational strengths, identified opportunities, and drew upon their knowledge of positive psychology to create an application that would best support the CAC in pursuit of their vision. The team conducted a situation analysis and researched the academic literature in the fields of coalition effectiveness, goal-setting, inclusion and diversity, bonding and bridging social capital, psychological safety and psychological capital. Team Black recommends the CAC embark upon an Appreciative Inquiry-informed strategic planning process. This process will empower the coalition, engage the community, and provide a bridge from where the CAC is today, to where they hope to be tomorrow. The desired outcomes of this process include: engaging a broader network of stakeholders, creating a common language around inclusion, clarifying the organization’s goal hierarchy, and establishing clear priorities for investing the coalition’s limited human and financial resources.
community building, community coalition, inclusive community, inclusion, belonging, appreciative inquiry, goal-setting, strategic planning
Date Posted: 13 May 2019