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Article May 17th, 2021
Legitimacy • Justice

Equity in community development: A legitimacy workshop for governments

Equity in community development: A legitimacy workshop for governments

We put our vision for government into practice through learning partner projects that align with our values and help reimagine government so that it works for everyone.

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Over the last year, communities have felt a tremendous amount of pain. You see it in the long lines at food banks, in the worry of a parent entering into another week of unemployment, in the calls for justice after another Black life is lost, in the eyes of a family wish for one last hug with a loved one lost to COVID-19.

This collective pain our communities have experienced has placed a strain on the already fragile relationship between governments and communities, affecting their ability to work together effectively. As we look to the end of the pandemic with tremendous hope, we must consider how governments can intentionally strengthen this relationship - centering communities in a way that builds legitimacy for their collaborative efforts.

The past year unequivocally exposed that our ways of doing things did not serve everyone in our communities, exacerbating systemic inequities in many cases. To build back better, governments must take a new approach to service that is grounded in resident trust, people-centered innovation, and inclusivity.

During this workshop, we brought together over 100 members of local government to discuss how governments can listen, learn, and adapt to support communities that have been historically oppressed and disinvested in. We hope to spur a movement towards a more human leadership style in government that advances equity and takes into account the historic challenges between government and community. A movement that is marked by governments building legitimacy and supporting more equitable, resilient, and flourishing communities.


Written by:

Jorge Fanjul Program Director, Legitimacy, North America
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John Burgoyne Program Manager, North America
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