Engaging Partners and the Community

The concept of engaging those affected by an issue is nothing new. A quick Google search will turn up thousands of results on the importance of engagement (including our toolkit on Engaging Nontraditional Voices ). Yet, the issue of who has a voice in which decisions is critically important when seeking to make decisions that will drive equity. Identifying, recruiting, and supporting participation in your decision-making processes are all critical choice points. Rather than recreate what is already out there, this section provides practical, hands-on tools for assessing whether your organization’s engagement is at the level needed to help drive equity-guided decisions, as well as links to resources to help guide your organization’s work.


  • This Living Cities e-course module , part of a larger community engagement e-course , focuses on how to advance racial equity through community engagement in collective impact, and includes reading materials, videos, discussion questions and exercises, and a webinar and online discussion forum.
  • The Creating Welcoming Places Workbook by Bruce Anderson, a fellow at the Assets Based Community Development Center at Northwestern University, provides concrete actions for groups who are looking to increase membership size, diversity, commitment, and enthusiasm, along with check-is and assessments.
  • Our Engaging Nontraditional Voices Toolkit is designed to help groups involved in policy-making and governance embrace the perspectives of nontraditional voices, providing overviews, discussion guides and checklists, including sample recruitment flyers, reimbursement forms, and other practical materials.