Community engagement is essential for sustaining change.

By establishing trusting relationships and creating a shared vision along with mutually beneficial goals, stakeholders have ownership of the change effort, participate in the decision making and are therefore more likely to be champions for the cause when barriers or challenges occur.

The “collective impact” model is similar to our approach to community organizing over the past 20 years.

By working alongside partners to develop a shared agenda, create mutually reinforcing activities, measure progressencourage communication/cooperation, and ensure a strong backbone, we have built trusting relationships that are necessary to impact change.

CA’s approach is to be a “value added” catalyst and convener. We will use the full continuum of community engagement strategies as conceptualized by the International Association for Public Participation:

  • Inform
  • Consult
  • Involve
  • Collaborate
  • Empower

Over the years we have established Action Groups across the Commonwealth. Through these efforts we’ve learned a great deal about community organizing. These volunteer groups are comprised of local community members who wish to address community needs. We initially provided staff to lead these efforts but knew that to sustain the model, members of the community needed to be empowered as leaders, decision makers and direct implementers of the change effort.

As we have evolved our model, we have seen action groups independently coordinate town hall events with local legislators, successfully advocate for legislative change and build new services in their communities.


> Read More about the Charlottesville Regional Autism Action Group (CRAAG)

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