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A great way to get to know your community better is by actively being a part of your community. Your town/city/county may have events going on that you don't even know about like public forums, board meetings, or just public gatherings. Even with Covid-19 and all, there are still events happening virtually that you can attend. By attending your area's events, you'll be able to learn about the issues currently facing your community, be able to meet other community members like yourself, or even meet elected officials for your area.
Public meetings provide the opportunity for individuals in a community to come together and express their thoughts on different topics and issues. Not only do you get to learn about new perspectives, but you are also able to meet so many new people that reside in your area. By forming connections within your community, you are able to have a strong base when working towards a common local goal. In addition to meeting community members, you can also meet with local representatives like school board members or your town's mayor. These representatives have major influence over initiatives that affect you and your community, so make sure to connect with them/introduce yourself to share your ideas, and to learn about their ideas.
To find public meetings going on in your area...
- look at your town's website/Facebook page/social media account
- look around your town to see flyers, banners, posters, etc. advertising the event
- search '[your town, your state's public meetings]'
- contact local friends or peers about upcoming events, and ask if they want to come along!
With the impacts of Covid, most events became virtual. Recently some events have been brought back in person in certain areas, but there are still plenty of virtual options. When attending virtual events, you may not be able to see people as clearly, but you can still engage with them and the group through chats or speaking. In the format of virtual programs like Zoom, you may even be able to have a Q&A function in order to ask any questions you have, and so you can see others' questions. For events that are starting to become in person, there probably is a virtual alternative or at least a virtual component to them. This could be that there is a live-casting of the event, a later recording, or online features that can be accessed in person or virtually. A big part of online events are the new innovative practices of engagement and participation!
To find virtual events going on in your area (or elsewhere)...
- look on social media pages that are based in your area for issues you care about
- look out for newsletters/subscribe to newsletters that are focused on your passions
- join groups through social media that discuss things that you are interested in
HOSTING YOUR OWN EVENT
Do you want to bring attention to a cause that your care about? Is there not already something happening in your area that focuses on that issue? If so, it may be the best option to host your own event! Hosting your own event can be very flexible, and you hold the reigns. You can invite just your friends and family, or you can invite the whole town. You can have guest speakers, or you can just speak on your own. Your event can have a theme, or it can just be a casual thing. Whatever you want your event to be, you can make it that! If you're looking for inspiration on events you can organize, there are plenty of ideas on the internet and Pinterest, or you can head on over to the Ideas tab.
To host your own event...
- Figure out what you want to do at the event
- *fundraise if needed*
- Identify who you want to invite
- Organize all the materials needed for you event
- Spread the work about your event!
- Document your event through interviews, photos, videos, etc.
- Ask for feedback at the end
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