Connect Kalamazoo was formed in the spring of 2011 following the 2nd Building A Community of Belonging Forum of The Arcadia Institute and Its Partners. Over the past 2 years we have created a Commitment to Inclusion Checklist, named our group and have a logo as well as producing 2 more Forums in 2012 and 2013.
Yesterday, Connect Kalamazoo celebrated our accomplishments and began planning for the next Forum to be held on March 20, 2014. For the next Forum, we would like to build on the five questions that John McKnight uses in community building.
- What are your gifts, what were you born doing well?
- What skills are you good at doing and what have your learned?
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you know well enough to teach?
- What would you like to learn?
We decided to take these questions into the broader community through the connections and relationships of the individuals who are part of Connect Kalamazoo. Then gather at the Forum to talk about the gifts throughout our community. Then, intentionally plan how we can connect with each other through our gifts. In the midst of this process we will remember that the focus of Connect Kalamazoo is how to welcome, support and respect the gifts of people with disabilities. The outcome of the Forum is to be intentional about making connections for people with disabilities so they are valued in our community as contributors, employees and neighbors.
More information about the Building a Community of Belonging Forum will be forthcoming.
If you would like more information about Connect Kalamazoo please contact Allison Hammond at email@example.com. You can also request an invitation to join Connect Kalamazoo on Facebook.