At a recent meeting discussing Reading revitalization efforts, several participants were lamenting the lack of Latino community participation. As I listened, I was slightly confused because just that morning Barrio staff had described to me all of the community members who were chomping at the bit to be involved in our various programs.
Take for example our Ojos Photography workshop. After two hours of photography work, as we sat around our table sharing food, one of our participants said: “Wow! I just found what I was always missing. It is really cool to have the opportunity to talk about our stories. Are there other ways I get involved to help?”
The formula is not difficult — when people feel that they are truly seen and included, it motivates them into action. Barrio is not unique in its approach, as we are actively sharing best practices with other organizations across the state using similar strategies.
Relationship building takes time though. People need to feel like they belong before they can begin participating. And we are building that trust in our common currency: love and happiness. Visit our website to learn about a few of the events that we organized and/or participated in to keep the happiness flowing…