A Local Response: Manchester's Equity & Inclusion Collaborative
In many respects the issues that our communities are facing in the wake of Covid-19 are in no way new. The problems of food insecurity, economic hardship, and disparities in access to healthcare and public services have always existed; this pandemic is just the most recent event that has brought this uncomfortable truth back to the top of a constantly shuffling deck of uncomfortable truths. In an effort to disrupt the cycle, the Town of Manchester looks to the work of the Equity and Inclusion Collaborative, a group of volunteers that represent an exceedingly diverse cross-section of the community. [Read the Community Engagement & Inclusion Strategy from the Manchester Equity & Inclusion Collaborative]
The recently developed collaborative is working to identify priorities that will not only address but effectively change the way the community responds to a lack of equitable access to information and services in times of crisis and beyond. While talking about the issues is one thing, the members of the Equity and Inclusion Collaborative know that to effect change conversations must lead to action; a principle they are increasingly aware of amid the current health crisis.
By looking internally and surveying one another on everything from personal perceptions of high risk population segments to forces that might be hindering adequate response to addressing/redressing the issues, the collaborative gathers information that helps them to identify areas where they can focus their resources and engage community partners and civic champions to carry on with the work at a larger scale.
While the issues that are currently making headlines may not be anything new, the investment into equity and inclusion by the Town of Manchester is definitely a refreshing move in the right direction. The collaborative meets on a semi-regular basis with smaller working groups tackling projects in their areas of expertise and reporting back to the larger group.
Participation and collaboration from members of the community is most welcomed and those interested in supporting the cause can complete the contact form below.