Why Belonging Matters
What is Belonging Matters?
Watch the video to understand why building a culture of belonging is integral to our processes and framework.
What We Believe
At the heart of every social problem, you will find a group of people who feel “pushed out.” We believe this group of people are the experts. They know how they were “pushed out” and what values and relationships were eroded in the process.
Our proven Belonging Matters framework, tools and processes build genuine cultures of belonging. Our framework supports the leadership of those most impacted by the social problem you are working on and supports decision makers to listen in new ways and act on what they hear.
As a result, your social change strategy engages diversity, unleashes untapped talents and always leads to collaborative, sustainable and innovative outcomes.
Belonging Matters Beginnings…
In 2006, Jessie Sutherland launched the Finding Home: How To Belong In A Changing World Initiative. Within two years it won a provincial innovation award for its positive impact in communities across British Columbia. And within 5 years it had reached over 2.5 million people.
After 10 years of communities finding home, there was a yearning among many to focus on the tenacity of building a sense of belonging and nurturing the outcomes that can come from people working well together. So in 2016, we changed the name of the Finding Home Initiative to Belonging Matters.
Listen to this video to hear the full story.
When Belonging Matters Was “Finding Home”
Before our evolution to Belonging Matters, our projects involved "Finding Home" as a unifying framework. In this past "Finding Home" project, we supported elders from diverse ethno-cultural communities to lead the change on preventing and raising awareness on the issue of elder financial abuse in their communities.
What Community Organizations Are Saying
The Impacts & Benefits of Belonging Matters
People with lived experience who participate in Belonging Matters feel empowered and respected
through the creation of meaningful peer and community connections. They begin to foster an increased sense of belonging and generate self-organized projects to create community change. Throughout the process, people with lived experience are supported as experts and leaders.
We recognize your organization may have unique needs. The Belonging Matters framework can provide customized leadership training your organization will appreciate. It includes valuable applications for engaging diversity, fostering high engagement for informing service improvement, planning, mentoring and volunteer development.
Community-led change recognizes the strengths and agency of all participants and is a sustainable, collaborative approach. Community organizations and workplaces that use the Belonging Matters framework, process and trainings to facilitate community-led change are more prepared to effectively address and solve complex social issues to create long lasting and meaningful change.
When government departments utilize Belonging Matters framework, they can identify opportunities, emerging trends and service improvement needs. As a result, government agencies are better equipped to create more evidence-based policies and make better decisions about where to best place resources for maximum impact.
Foster a sense of belonging
Facilitate intercultural cohesion and reconciliation
Influence evidence-based planning
Advance community collaboration and engagement
Initiate meaningful and effective awareness & prevention campaigns
Create opportunities for target groups to take an active role in their community
Identify emerging trends and needs for service and program improvement and development
Build trust and recognition between target groups and community resources
Foster inter-agency collaboration
Support personal development within target groups (e.g. Elders)
Increase self-awareness, confidence and energy
Support leadership development
Increase awareness, confidence, self-esteem and prevention rates on a variety of topics (e.g. Elder financial abuse)
Develop non-profit sector leadership by creating, mobilizing and supporting citizen-led, self-organizing projects
Help isolated, marginalized and / or culturally diverse individuals discover a sense of belonging within their groups as well as in the wider community
Improve cross-cultural understanding and relationships
How Belonging Matters is Creating Sustainable and Lasting Change
Using Belonging Matters to Address Homelessness and the Overdose Crisis
"What does home mean to me?"
This question can connect people to their stories, their values, as well as to what and who matters most to them. The awareness of what home means can provide the compass needed for the tenacity it takes to build a new sense of home and belonging.
This significant question is one of the nuggets shared in our Belonging Matters Foundations training. One of our training participants, Sarah Common, Hives for Humanity Co-founder and Executive Director, has been using this question to address homelessness and the overdose crisis in the Downtown Eastside (in Vancouver, BC) through billboards, conversations and panel discussions.
In the video, you’ll learn more about Sarah’s initiative through Hives For Humanity and their collaborating partners with What Does Home Mean To You and the difference it is making in the Downtown Eastside.
Where to Start
complimentary online gathering
Build Belonging From the Inside Out
Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 @ 12:00 pm Pacific (PST)