Community Engagement: Using Feedback Loops to Empower Residents and Influence Systemic Change in Culturally Diverse Communities

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A multi-faceted approach to community engagement includes the need to involve the community members in the design, implementation and feedback of any program, services, or supports provided. Intentional participatory engagement of residents also requires shared responsibility for workload, shared recognition of achievement, thoughtful communication, engagement in robust discussions taking care not to internalize conversations as personal affronts and holding close the rules of effective decision making (Toms & Burgess, 2014). Implementing a feedback loop process can be used as a tool to foster intentional resident engagement. The findings presented in this article are from a case study of a neighborhood that implemented a feedback loop process. Analysis of data indicate that while transportation, housing, and places for people to safely be outside are real community concerns, acts of nature and choices made by city government also directly impact the quality of life of the residents in this community. The need for purposeful channels of communication to be established among residents, between neighborhood action groups, and city government is evident. Leveraging relationships with community partners to establish trust and organizational understanding of culture within community socio-economic context, along with the multiple layers of community engagement is discussed.

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Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice