Kalamazoo: A community where all people belong.

Exciting things have been happening since we held the second annual Building a Community of Belonging: A Forum of The Arcadia Institute and Its Partners in March 2011. First, at the April 25 Forum Follow Up meeting, the group decided to start meeting monthly on the fourth Monday, from 9 – 11AM at the Maple St. YMCA. Attendees at our meetings in April and in May have been just as representative of the people in our community who participated in the forum. There are three things that we are working on at these meetings:

Community Commitment to Inclusion Checklist – we are creating a list of things that organizations and businesses can use to self-assess how they are doing to welcome support and respect everyone and in particular individuals with disabilities.

Everyone is Invited – we are thinking of ways to use social media, email messages and regular old phone calls to link each other with activities going on in the community. What are some fun things we can do together to make sure individuals with disabilities are invited to be part of our community?

Growing our Network – more specifically we are looking at ways to invite for-profit businesses to be part of our Network.

We have had a few new faces at our meetings. Please join us if you are able as we commit to making Kalamazoo a community where all people belong.

Contact Allison Hammond at 269-254-8224 or ahammond@thearcadiainstitute.org for more information!