Community Engagement BINGO 2 — What to Do

community engagement bingo 2

Last week I put up a BINGO board about community engagement around what not to do. This week while sitting in a meeting I had a moment of enlightenment/ vulnerability/ happiness, that moment led to me realizing I should create a BINGO board focused on what we should do, not just the negatives. This week’s blog post is Community Engagement BINGO 2, What to Do.

Gather a few friends or colleagues and think through your community engagement practices. Give yourself a high five for the boxes you do well. I hope you get a full board of checked off boxes. If you don’t check something off, talk about how you can work to improve your practices.

Below is a list of the text in the BINGO board boxes. I’m sharing it below to allow for more people to be able to read it — small screens make the image hard to read and disability screenreaders and Braille translators do not read images well.

Community Engagement BINGO 2 — What to do:

Clearly articulating who should attend the event (Don’t say everyone. Inviting everyone is inviting no one.)

Ongoing engagement, not one-time events

Creating multiple ways to engage with the overall work (e.g. in person, online, live stream, smaller focus groups, surveys, apps, etc.)

Clear contact information shared

Appropriate notice is provided for events and meetings

Co-designing community engagement with people most impacted

Continually identifying barriers to participation and working to remove them

Listening to people and responding

Being clear about your commitment to undoing racism and centering BIPOCs

Inviting and welcoming people to join, especially paying attention to diversity

Sharing and distributing power (e.g. decision making authority, resources, etc.)

On sign-up forms inviting people to share their needs (e.g. dietary, child care, disabilities accommodations, language, etc.)

Events hosted in accessible locations (e.g. neighborhoods of people most impacted, public transit, ADA compliant, etc.)

Checking calendars to make sure religious and cultural holidays are avoided

Outlining next steps and responsibilities

Creating opportunities for people to build and sustain diverse relationships

Build trust over time and practice transparency, especially when things go wrong

Recognize the expertise of People of Color and those farthest from justice

Be specific and clear with language (i.e. avoid acronyms, no derogatory language, translators appreciate specific language—say what you mean to say, etc.)

Allowing adequate time and physical space for people to interact and understand the content

Dot voting by language – different color dots represents different home languages. Copyright BN

Interactive presentations with meaningful engagement. The photo is an example of how a school community engaged with families across language. The different colored dots represented different home languages.

Facilitators who pay attention to the energy in the room and specifically paying attention to POCs who may not be heard

Follow up by summarizing what you heard and learn. Don’t be an askhole.

Bonus Ideas for the FREE Square

Food – providing culturally resonate and tasty food is a good practice. Spend the money on the good catering from a POC owned restaurant.

Childcare – providing high-quality childcare AND providing ways for children to meaningfully participate in the event or project is important. At another time I’ll share some stories about this topic.

Translated Material and Interpretation – Being able to understand and be understood is a key component of community engagement.

Attentive to cultural norms and practices.

Special thank you to Bao for a few of the ideas, including the box around FOOD, cause food is bonding and engaging across communities. 

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