Count Down to Building a Community of Belonging Forum

Page headersFive years ago, people came together to create the first Building a Community of Belonging: A Forum of The Arcadia Institute and Its Partners. In September 2014, many of these same people plus several more attended a luncheon at the YMCA Sherman Lake Center to celebrate the fifth birthday of Connect Kalamazoo. People who attended the luncheon are part of the following organizations:

YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kalamazoo Media Arts Academy Kalamazoo Nature Center Portage District Library Boy Scouts Southern Shore Council Pretty Lake Vacation Camp Oneplace Parent to Parent of Southwest Michigan Just Move Fitness Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Disability Network People’s Food Co-Op Southwest Michigan Second Wave Interns from Project Search Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run Junior League of Kalamazoo

All of these organizations are committed to making Kalamazoo a community that welcomes, supports and respect everyone - specifically people with disabilities.

Now we are looking forward to the 6th Annual Building a Community of Belonging Forum on March 26, 2015. This Forum will celebrate the successes of Connect Kalamazoo in a way that builds on the theme of Kalamazoo: Where Everybody Belongs. The features of the 2015 Forum will be:

  • Using various media to promote Connect Kalamazoo leading up to and following the Forum
  • Promoting the use of the Connect Kalamazoo Commitment to Inclusion Checklist throughout all organizations in Kalamazoo
  • Using the Community Awareness through displaying the Connect Kalamazoo logo in organizations
  • Creating a community art piece that celebrates inclusion and can travel throughout the community
  • Guest facilitators for the 2015 Forum are: Kathy Jennings, Editor, Southwest Michigan Secondwave - Promotions Simon Borst, Front End Manager, People’s Food Co-Op - Artist Deborah Warfield, Founder, Media Arts Academy, Video

    Look for more information about the Building a Community of Belonging Forum 2015 beginning in November of 2014!

    AND – plan to be there!!!

    For information about how you or your organization can be involved in planning, funding or supporting the Forum contact Allison Hammond, Program Director, The Arcadia Institute at:

    269-217-2205 or