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The Community Club

Discussion on building inclusive communities

alex profile image Alex Angel with Danielle Letayf and Najva SolUpdated on ・1 min read

Watch the recorded event


This year reminded us that progressive values and good intentions aren’t enough--it’s crucial for community builders to be proactive in creating inclusive community spaces for their existing and future members. There are many different approaches for ensuring your space is welcoming and inclusive, and tomorrow we have two amazing community builders sharing their thoughts and methods: Najva Sol & Danielle Letayf.

Danielle shares learnings around crafting communities from scratch with diversity and inclusion at the core, both at Built By Girls and Badassery. Najva digs into the challenge of diversifying existing communities, with examples from Quartz, A Practical Wedding, Brooklyn Museum, and Founder Summit.

This event is sort of a freeform discussion, so please come ready with any of your own thoughts to share or questions to ask! If you're comfortable speaking you can join with your video, or you can just watch and post in the in-app chat room.

Discussion

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abo101413 profile image
Alexandra

Screen grabbed their tl;dr

Screen grabbed their tl;dr

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alex profile image
Alex Angel Author

Thank you for capturing that!

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peterfayle profile image
Peter Fayle

Great to see this event, which unfortunately I can't make in person, but I have a question:

Can you think of examples of communities that have many requirements on members, but still manage to be welcoming and inclusive? Requirements might range from conduct to values and principles - when these get long, complicated, and not all intuitively obvious, which communities have found good ways of presenting them to prospective members and keeping that feeling of being able to join in straight away?

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Najva Sol Author

Hi Peter!

Wanted to make sure you got a clear answer for your Q and provide follow up—

Danielle can talk a LOT about this I think, but from my perspective... I think it's setting expectations and then helping people over the initial potential friction that might cause.

I worked on a feminist summer camp where we had a lot of content in advance to set expectations ( the event is mostly offline/no service, big schedule of camp events but no pressure to do anything, a quiet tent just for introverts/meditation/reading...) but when people showed up, we had a required "opening circle" that had tons of activities that helped people dive in immediately.

Otherwise in digital spaces, I think we're just talking onboarding experience. What's the flow from the first moment till when you engage? Superhuman scales this with many many 1:1 onboarding calls, other places have great onboarding (like this community chat) same with any game... almost a tutorial built in.

In terms of other communities...Girl scouts, AA, Nextdoor... all of them have really specific methods + expectations around entering the communities but manage to do a really great job once you arrive. In fact specifically Girl Scouts has done a TON of work to become more inclusive in the past (here's a link to a story about how that happened:strategy-business.com/article/0033...) that could be relevant.

If you have more specific questions, let me know!

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Peter Fayle

Najva, you're an absolute star for this answer, thank you!

I'll be following up everything you've referenced and watching back the event, and may come back with more specifics. I've just started some conversations about actually creating something over the last couple of days (more detail to come), so your advice is really appreciated right now 😀🚀

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Peter Fayle

That flow in digital spaces is what I'm most curious about - it looks like using an online platform to host the community's origin story and values and rules may be a good enough start, and could be owned and enhanced by the community over time.

I think the AA website is a good example of handling a complex - emotive and misunderstood - situation well and quickly. I can imagine it's effective at getting people comfortable and through the door.

The chat was great. I find "Trust takes time" hardest, and I'm wondering how much I can offset that by planning ahead - we'll see how it goes. Thanks again.

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alex profile image
Alex Angel Author

Thanks for the question Peter! We'll pull this into the discussion and the recording will be available later today :)

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nerissa profile image
Nerissa Williams

Hello!
Thank you for highlighting this very important aspect of community creation.
Unfortunately I cannot access the recording via the link provided - is there anywhere else I could view the event?
Thanks and all the best :)

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alex profile image
Alex Angel Author

Thank you for the heads up! I'll check on why you might be running into that issue.

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peterfayle profile image
Peter Fayle

I'm also having trouble - with a "Looks like you don't have access to this meeting" message.

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alex profile image
Alex Angel Author

Working on getting something directly embedded in the thread so you don't have to go to the link--it's being finnicky for me too. Sorry about that!

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peterfayle profile image
Peter Fayle

Now working, thanks Alex 😃