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Strengthening voices in the BAME community

My earlier blog post on ‘collective impact’ highlighted that having a shared vision was a vital component in making a real and meaningful positive difference to complex societal issues.

To create that vision a strengthened and aligned shared voice has to be developed and shaped.

What is a strengthened voice? Imagine a choir.A soloist’s voice can sound lovely and strong, reaching all notes. But what happens when that voice is joined by the others? The sound can still be lovely; it is most definitely more powerful and can carry a note for even longer and reach even higher. This does not take away from the soloist’s ability, skills or passion, but it adds layers - the different voices creating harmony and giving a differing perspective to the same words.

Now think of community groups. Each project may be attempting to solve similar problems and be facing the same barriers within their community and in the relationships with those that support their sustainability and impact. However, most of the time they work and speak individually; sending the same message in a slightly different way or lots of messages at once with no clear focus on any specific priority.

Now imagine these community groups as a “choir”, discussing the issues that they share and creating a clearer, stronger joint voice that could have a more powerful impact on social change. Strengthening the voice of your community will allow for issues to be identified, challenged and overcome in a clear and action focused way

This joint voice can be developed by:

  • Creating conversations, through regular roundtables, forums, webinars.
  • Regular collective blog posts or letters - where one idea is highlighted and co-signed by the group
  • Posting an article in the local paper about the great work that has come from collaboration in tackling issues or overcoming barriers but also sharing moments of success for the communities served

Over the next few weeks Connectivity partners will be guest blogging their journey to strengthened voice and collaboration through their participation in the programme for Year 1, as well as providing useful tips and tools to assist you in strengthening your community leadership voice.

Find out more about the Connectivity Programme or email Simone Williams, Simone@bteg.co.uk

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