Community Engagement: When Funders Think of "Communities as Children"
In a recent blog post on Nonprofit AF, Vu Le reflects on how he has been seeing more signs of diverse communities "being treated like children who don’t know what’s good for them." Le writes that, even though he doesn't think that is conscious or intentional, "it is still frustrating."
Le describes some of the ways this plays out, including "a lack of trust that communities have solutions to their own problems":
A major frustration—probably THE major frustration—that many of us grassroots organizations have is that there seems to be a disbelief among many funders and other people in power that communities actually have the solutions to our own problems. It is really ridiculous if you think about it. The people and communities who have personal experiences dealing with society’s entrenched problems should know more about it than those who have not. But there seems to be this weird paradox, where if you are too close to a problem, then people may assume that your judgement got harmed by it or something.
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