AWC CQC is working with three Washington communities in a pilot project, helping diverse groups come together around difficult local discussions on housing and homelessness. Community stakeholders in Olympia, Vancouver and Wenatchee will spend a year learning and using Participatory Leadership capacity building skills to invite community-driven conversations and strengthen local leadership.

Participatory Leadership helps groups of all sizes facilitate deep conversations built on the core values of respect, partnership, collaboration and accountability. Although this pilot focuses on homelessness, Participatory Leadership can be used for any messy, complex, perhaps stuck, situation. Community stakeholders learn how to give up individual control and come together as collective problem-solvers, as meaningful activists who want to create a healthier, more resilient community. What AWC CQC hopes the pilot will specifically do is increase community understanding, support better local coordination, and catalyze new partnerships and new local actions.

Pilot partners are The Evergreen College, Western Washington University’s Idea Institute and the Athena Group.