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Radical Welcome as a Guide for Community Engagement

Radical Welcome as a Guide for Community Engagement

Wooden heart on string with the word "Open" on it

When volunteer engagement relies on practices borrowed from business for paid staff, we can lose the relationships and purpose that are fundamental to success. Adopting a concept known as “radical welcome” as a guiding principle offers an antidote that reconnects us with community and returns us to our agency roots. In this Engage feature, writer Sue Carter Kahl explains the radical welcome concept and how to practice it in volunteerism.

To read the full article

Wed, 07/14/2021

In the time between submitting the article and it being published, I started to rethink using the term 'ownership' in the model that talks about what volunteers bring back to the community when it's a good experience (under Community Engagement Done Well heading). My sense is that no one really owns the mission. Perhaps a better word might be partnership or a sense of stewardship or relationship with the mission. I'm always refining the models and would love to hear what you think might be a stronger term than ownership.

Comments, reactions, and ideas welcome (for the wording or any other part of the article)!  

Fri, 08/13/2021

Thanks so much for this valuable and thought-provoking contribution, Sue.

It’s interesting to think of from the perspective of local government (where I work), where the notion of ‘mission’ is less singular, where perhaps the mission of volunteer programming is simply ‘inclusive representation meeting community needs’.

In that sense, radical welcome is even more fundamental to the purpose of volunteering. A very helpful model in which community building is forefront!