According to your textbook, “As a generalist practitioner, to engage and assess at the macro level requires a variety of skills. Not only must you employ the interpersonal skills that you use with other-size systems, but you must also understand how communities work. Accurate assessment of community functioning can provide you with a foundation to initiate community change” (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). One aspect of this is understanding how power and decision-making occur in a community context.
To build your assessment skills, this week you will attend a community meeting that addresses issues within the community. This community meeting could be a school board meeting, local government meeting, neighborhood organization meeting, or civic association meeting. Virtual alternatives are acceptable if your schedule does not allow for an in-person community meeting. If you have questions please ask your faculty member.
After the meeting, write a 700- to 1,050-word summary and analysis that should include the following:
- Name of agency/meeting, location, date, time, and number of persons in attendance
- Purpose/agenda of the meeting and (if known) any background information or events that have a bearing on the meeting
- Leadership and decision-making process (formal or informal, who leads meetings/keeps order, etc.)
- If community residents were present, how was (or wasn’t) their voice present or recognized in the meeting? How did they participate in the policy discussions (frequency, intensity, driving the agenda)?
- How was power seen at the meeting (consider gender, race, class)?
- Impression of the meeting and personal learning as a result of attending the meeting
- Reflect on how comfortable you would feel engaging with attendees of this community meeting on policy advocacy or policy proposal.
- How did you feel about this meeting?
- Would you be okay proposing or advocating for social policy in this meeting? Why or why not?
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