Presentation: Creating social change through coalition building: finding common ground within divergent groups.
Panelist: A trans-disciplinary theoretical, empirical and applied discussion on community engagement.
B Stigma-Free was invited to contribute to the academic discussion regarding community engagement. Supported by the Society for Community Research and Action, we presented our perspective at this symposium, and we also participated in a round-table panel on the same topic.
Increasing the efficiency of systems is a requirement in today’s business environment, whether it is in the for-profit or not-for-profit sector. Being able to demonstrate concrete benefits to participant organizations on both the national and local level has been necessary to draw in and maintain interest. Starting small, and working within the context of each group’s culture was necessary from the onset. Similarly, gaining insights into existing systems through the early relationship building helped B Stigma-Free design a model that maximized resources and didn’t duplicate services.
B Stigma-Free’s collaborations are based on one’s identity: recognizing what is different about an individual or group of people, and then finding sameness within those differences. Our goal is to emphasize these differences and encourage people to embrace them: both as a sense of self, and as a respect for others. In our call for people to #Just b, we are, like Sonia Kruks demands[i], wanting people to be respected as they are, with their differences, not in spite of them.
[i] Kruks, Sonia. 2000. Retrieving Experience: Subjectivity and Recognition in Feminist Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.