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  • Writer's pictureLisa Gilchrist


In my part of the world, pandemic restrictions are lifting. Gatherings are being permitted and people are being encouraged to use their judgement about gathering. They are asked to monitor any symptoms and stay home when sick.

This has been a hard go for a lot of people. Those who thrive on events and activities have felt constrained and deprived. Those who prefer not to attend large events have had a reprieve. Some introverts that I know have been relieved that there have been fewer social expectations to gather and that saying ‘no thank you’ has become more accepted. As we are starting to gather again, it strikes me that people are looking to find a balance. A mid-point between going to everything and staying until the bitter end to selecting which things to attend and staying for what part makes sense to them.

What does this mean for Community Development? I think it means we have to remember that not everyone is ready to re-join, to re-connect. That people want to do more at their own pace and not so much on an event planner’s schedule. We have to be aware that people still want the option of space. While multiple mediums of participation were expected before, often they were not delivered effectively. Moving forward there is an expectation that people will have the choice of how to participate and will be given a variety of methods over a period of time. Community developers need to be leaders in recognizing this change and providing options. People expect to have a positive, engaging experience no matter how they decide to interact. Perhaps now, more than ever, we need to consider our approaches to inclusive event planning to ensure a welcoming space.

Keep shining!

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