How do we justly enter communities?

My name is Jacqulyn Washington but most people call me Jackie. As a graduate student of social work, I am focusing on community engagement, revitalization and resilience. Here at Storefront for Community Design, I am researching  how to justly enter communities.  This topic is so relevant to us all because we all enter communities in some way. In just one day, I pass through 3 neighborhoods. Think about which communities you drive through on your way home.  Have you ever thought about what impact you have or don’t have in those communities? What about your own community? How does your job or school intersect with surrounding neighborhoods?


I am not only researching how to justly enter communities by reading peer-reviewed articles and textbooks but I am researching in a truly active way. I am learning though meeting, talking, partnering and participating in communities. Over the next 5 months, I will be sharing this journey with you through updates on Storefront’s blog. The thoughts posted here will be an expression of my academic, professional and personal knowledge relevant to community work. I invite you to use this blog series as an interactive way for us to have a community conversation on ways to justly enter communities. Each month a new question will be presented followed by weekly posts on related topics. These can be found below.

Please leave a comment below on what justly entering a community means to you!


What's Next:

1. How do we know it’s okay to come in?

An overview of things to be considered before entering and how to recognize the “nod of approval” from the community

2. What does trust have to do with it?

Building rapport and taking care of relationships

3.How important are the strengths? How important are the needs?

Understanding why recognizing resiliency is just as important as identifying the problems when assessing a community

4.What is an intervention without community engagement?

Examining why community engagement is the basis for an effective intervention

5.How do you know if it worked?

A summary of ways to evaluate community interventions and practice.