What Does “Building Community” Mean?

Pamela Chan, Editorial/BCFamily.ca

When I set up the BCFamily.ca site 8 years ago, I added a page in the menu – front and centre.

Building Community – a poem by the Syracuse Cultural Workers community.

It’s not the type of button that you typically see featured at the top of a family focussed website.  Instead, you might find buttons linking to posts about various topics, events and reviews; or, a contact or About Me page. Sometimes you’ll even see an advertise/work with us button.

Over the years, I’ve wondered if it seemed a bit unusual to feature a stand alone page, with a poem on it, in this way.  But not once have I reached for the delete button.  Instead, I often describe BCFamily.ca as my way to help build community in BC.

Of course the first question people ask is “what do you mean by that?”.

I explain that you build community one interaction at a time.

You help to support local, community events and initiatives. These could be communities of neighbours, parents and students, co-workers, citizens of the province or people from a specific socio-economic demographic.

You get the word out about new ideas and initiatives that that might work for BC communities.

You support local businesses. This includes home-based businesses – many of which are started by women who are either entering or going back into the workforce. Many of these women are under 35 but there are also many who are re-inventing their lives during second adulthood at age 40 and beyond.  They might be starting small but their talent is considerable and the quality of their work is high.

You become an advocate for issues such as Mental Health Matters or Affordable, Accessible and High Quality ECE and Daycare for All. You do this in person and online. Along the way, you meet many sincere and talented British Columbians who are passionate about their causes.

Truthfully, this type of work typically doesn’t involve making money.  It’s pro bono type of work.  You give of your time and your talents and you get back more than you could ever hope to put into the community building efforts that you’re supporting.

That’s what my experience has been like since January, 2010.  Everyone will have a slightly different shift regarding what “building community” means to them. What does “building community” mean to you? What are your favourite ways to build community? You can comment about this posting below or on the BC Family Facebook page.  Your contribution matters so don’t be shy!

Related

There are five other locations where you can connect with my content online.
BCFamilyca on Twitter – this is the general BCFamily.ca account.
BCFamilyMedia on Twitter – this is where I connect with non profit organizations and share information on Education, research topics and policy matters related to families.
BCFamilyca on Instagram
BCFamilyca on Pinterest
and last but not least – BCFamilydotca on Facebook.

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