Some exciting news from Hackney.
It’s the big challenge for every community; as our country seems to become ever more divide, how do we bring our communities together to build strength and resilience? This is a topic we are exploring in Hackney with our partners, Hackney Unites and Hackney CVS. We started in February with a general discussion and exploration of the issues that were affecting our communities. We define community very broadly, so it could be a community based on ethnicity or religion, but it could equally be based on living on a particular estate or having a shared experience of oppression. Whatever your definition of a community is, there can be no doubt we need to rebuild that sense of 'us' that has been so whittled away in recent years.
Whatever your definition, it is likely that your community is less robust now than it was ten years ago. Equally, very often communities living side by side are more distrustful of each other now than they were ten years ago. Unfortunately, with tabloid newspapers seeming to pedal little other than fear and division, and at some times appear intent on spreading hate between communities, and with the rise in racist attacks since the Brexit vote, it is time we took an active stand in rebuilding the strength of our communities and the connections between them. But the question is; how? which is why we have devised this series of sessions aimed at community activists who want to bring a little hope back into their community and spread the love between communities but don't know where to begin (or have been working at this for years and recognise they still need a few new ideas)
Our series of sessions is not exactly a course (you can drop in and out of individual sessions) and they are certainly not characterised by us pretending to know all the answers. They are however an opportunity for community activists to come together, to discuss in a structured way, the strategies and tactics that we can use to build strong, inclusive and interconnected communities.
The next session in Hackney is on March 2nd, and we will be looking at ‘what keeps us apart, and what brings us together’. If you are from Hackney, then please do sign up to attend here.
We plan to roll this project out from April, so if you want to be involved in creating an opportunity where people in your community can develop the skills to isolate fear, hatred, and narratives of division, and instead build communities that are powerful, confident and share a mutual trust, then sign up here.