Community Building in Times of Crisis

We appear more divided than ever, whether it is over Brexit, or a whole host of questions. Meanwhile, almost every issue goes beyond a disagreement as we line up as ‘opposing forces’. We seem to have lost the art of seeing our neighbours as part of a larger ‘us’ even when we disagree, and instead feel ever more surrounded by a threatening ‘them’.

The aim of this session is to link the two questions, ‘Why are our communities increasingly divided?’ and ‘how do we overcome divisions within our communities?’ Combining the latest theoretical work, particularly that of Jon Yates, with the lived experience of the participants we will create a framework for thinking through what is happening to our communities (it is not random) and consider why starting a darts team might be part of the answer!

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  • We will explore the pressures that are pushing our communities apart and think about the traditional forces that held our communities together, why they have become weaker and what we can do to strengthen them (or create new ones).

  • A conceptual framework for thinking about division in our communities and the pressures that create them, and
  • The ability to plan interactions between communities to create a new sense of ‘us’

People who want to go beyond the existing Covid focus of Mutual Aid and people who want to bring their community together and isolate narratives of division.

Shaira Begum is an environmental justice organiser, campaigner, and trainer. She is interested in intersectional feminist forms of working to bring lived experiences to the forefront. She is passionate about making space and amplifying the voices of marginalised communities. Shaira has a background in community building, training and facilitating in the women's and environmental sectors, with a wealth of experience working around health and climate projects. Passionate about community care and political education, you can catch Shaira delivering training sessions as part of the core team at the Ella Baker School.

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