Community Engagement

What is it?

Community Engagement is the inclusion of diverse perspectives towards more equitable programs, services, and outcomes. United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region intentionally designs activities to create opportunity for the aspirations, concerns, needs and values of people and communities to be incorporated at all levels and in all sectors in planning, decision-making; policy development, understanding and reducing disparities, service delivery and assessment, etc.

We know that community members are key partners in creating a vibrant community where all people realize their full potential. Community Engagement is how UWBCKR approaches opportunities to learn from the perspectives of residents, clients, other agencies and organizations, donors, communities and other stakeholders within our region to inform the work that we do together and achieve greater outcomes.

Whether we’re facilitating a conversation with people experiencing homelessness to better understand and address barriers to housing, or surveying the community to find out how we can better connect people to volunteer opportunities, the following key principles of community engagement guide our work:

  • Integrity – when there is openness and honesty about the scope and purpose of engagement.
  • Inclusion – when there is an opportunity for a diverse range of values and perspectives to be freely and fairly expressed and heard.
  • Deliberation – when there is sufficient and credible information for dialogue, choice and decisions, and when there is space to weigh options, develop common understandings and to appreciate respective roles and responsibilities.
  • Influence – when people have input in designing how they participate, when policies and services reflect their involvement and when their impact is apparent.

UWBCKR is committed to sharing community knowledge with other people and organizations that are positioned to take action on the issues that impact our communities. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned about the populations, issues, and opportunities that exist in our region.

Email to learn more about our key principles and information sharing opportunities.