Please have a look at this photo for a moment…
This is an example of community-building happening in the town of Chapel Hill, in the US state of North Carolina. A local church and a community center organized a block party for neighborhood residents to get to know each other.
Chapel Hill is a rapidly growing college town and that brings with it a lot of benefits but also some disadvantages. Property prices have risen as developers gentrify the neighborhood to offer student housing. But this has caused problems for some longtime locals, whose property taxes have become unaffordable, since their household income has not changed.
The block party provided an opportunity to create ties. Kids are playing games, students are dancing, people are practicing handicrafts, and folks are eating, drinking and laughing. We are connecting with each other.
Hopefully in some small way this will help us to better understand each other’s perspective on what “prosperity” and “progress” really means for our community and how people are affected in different ways by development.
What’s your vision for the community where you live? Does it match what others see too?