Working with Diverse Populations
"We can't get young people to participate."
"The renters really don't care about our neighborhood."
"Some of our residents only speak Spanish and don't come to our meetings."
Have you heard some of these complaints from your neighborhood association board members? Working with diverse populations is one of the biggest challenges for neighborhood groups.
Points of Consideration
Here are points to consider when meeting the challenge of diversity:
Listen to all of your residents: Find out their interests, talents, and needs.
Offer a diverse set of activities: Don't expect everyone to attend activities all the time. Some residents may not be able to or want to come to monthly business meetings.
Value diversity: By capitalizing on the skills and experiences of all people in your neighborhood, the association will benefit from the rich diversity of the population.
Trust is essential: Trust doesn't come until you have the chance to interact with one another. Sponsor activities that bring neighbors together.
Differences: There are as many differences within ethnic and racial groups as there are between racial and ethnic groups.