Conversations about Community

This week the blog is George Martin's thoughts about broadening our Community Participation work. As we move deeper into community participation, both horizontally and vertically, we are gaining a keener appreciation of the how people are connected and how different aspects of our lives are intertwined.

Our focus in the Community Participation Initiative has been on leisure time activities that people chose in which they may need some assistance and support. As we understand the term ‘meaningful activity’ in all its dimensions, we realize that our work is affecting related areas like volunteering to help others and gaining key skills needed to get and keep a job.

Our work affects an individual’s choice of living environment and friends, as well as physical and emotional well-being. As we become more conscious of our impact, we are re-shaping our work to have a more intentional impact on all areas of life.

A timely message along these lines came from John O’Brien recently informing us of the release of a new book he edited with Carol Blessing, entitled Conversations on Citizenship and Person-Centered Work. The conversations include a number of thought leaders in our field, including Beth Mount who has a history with us here in Kalamazoo. You can get a copy at Inclusion Press