Identifying the right people to bring to the table and building relationships is a process that takes time. Our solution was to get people to talk about their community in a facilitative manner, across lines of language, race, or other community divisions. Our goal was to encourage all voices in decision-making.
Focus group feedback revealed that, for some coalitions, participation was sparse because of meeting location. We learned we needed to accommodate vulnerable populations better than what we did by arranging transportation and improving access for local participants.
Providing translation or interpretive services is a key action that can both engage community members that speak another language and allow any training or other support materials to be accessible to a larger audience.
Even small gestures that demonstrate a respect for the diversity of cultures in your community can help your coalition grow and be effective.