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September 16, 2016

Beyond Inclusion: Partnerships that Change the Culture of Public Service


Session Description

If you cannot identify with people or a problem, then it’s difficult for you to create policy that can solve it. – Tennessee Rep. Raumesh A. Akbari, District 91

Envisioning an inclusive public engagement and decision-making process asks that we set a new expectation for what community partnerships look like. It starts with a public service culture committed to listening deeply to the people it serves.

It requires a responsiveness and openness to the difficult conversations that emerge from authentic engagement between public agencies and communities. The desired outcome is decisions that better reflect the cultural diversity of the region.

Workshop participants will hear from and engage with community partners, Metro staff from three public engagement efforts and a Metro councilor. Together, workshop participants and facilitators will explore the opportunities, challenges and difficult conversations that push public agency culture change. The workshop program will be framed around the following objectives in Metro’s equity strategy:

  • Establish and strengthen relationships with communities of color

Discover how Centro Cultural de Washington County in Cornelius is helping Metro connect with community members to plan for a future nature park at Chehalem Ridge.

  • Increase accountability by ensuring community involvement in the evaluation and implementation efforts Learn how Metro’s 2018 Regional Transportation Plan update is bringing community leaders to the decision-making table with elected leaders of the region to help create a vision for the transportation system of the future.
  • Increase participation of communities of color in Metro’s decision making

Hear directly from young social justice leaders of Momentum Alliance’s Student Alliance Project and Leveraging Momentum Youth Education Advocates (YEA!) about how their active participation in the development of Metro’s equity strategy helped shape the final plan adopted by the Metro Council in June 2016.

Beyond inclusion: Partnerships that change the culture of public service moves the conversation from planning for inclusion to implementing collaborative and co-created engagement activities that bring voices from communities of color into the decision-making process in authentic and impactful ways. Connecting community to policymakers through shared experiences, problem-solving and opportunities to envision the future of the region together builds the trust and resilient relationships needed in these transformational times.

Participants attending this workshop will learn:

  • Three things every public agency can do to more effectively engage with communities of color – as related by Metro community partners
  • How community partners from each project measure inclusive and meaningful public engagement
  • What community engagement experiences most impact decision-makers and why

Come prepared!

  • Community and staff presenters will be seated with workshop participants in theater-in-the- round format and use an open space to promote access, conversation and connections between presenters and participants.
  • Participants are invited to bring examples of engagement activity and presenters offer suggestions for making activity inclusive and meaningful for their organization or community.
  • Participants are invited to place an inclusion challenge in a fishbowl to be drawn by presenters who facilitate a crowd-sourced solution.

About the Presenter(s)

Speaker Bios


Community Measures

Executive Summary

Voices from the Region

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