As technology continues bringing us closer to each other than ever before, defining what exactly it means to be a part of a community is becoming increasingly difficult to do.
On Friday, June 1st, educators from organizations such as After School Matters, the Shedd Aquarium and the Lincoln Park Zoo attended a workshop hosted by Project Exploration and HIVE to learn about Communities of Practice, at the Chicago Community Trust. The workshop started off with establishing our goals for the morning and one of those was to share ideas on what makes an ideal community and how to develop a proper sense of belonging. We shared stories form some of the communities we identified ourselves with and how they differentiate from a community of practice specifically.
As we learned from Gabe and Jameela a community consists of a group of people that share a common concern or passion. What makes it a community of practice is that not only do the people involved share a common passion but they are also actively engaged in learning. Communities of Practice therefore are engaged in collective learning where the members teach each other.
One community I consider myself a part of is that of my neighborhood– Albany Park. While the educators at the workshop spent the day discussing how to improve education at Lincoln Park Zoo or the Shedd Aquarium I was musing on how to make Albany Park the ideal community. I always thought my neighborhood was unique in its ethnic diversity. It is a community of immigrants that I feel deserve more fair representation. I think Albany Park is an area that needs a community of practice to be put in place. Members of this potential community could learn about government systems, promote self empowerment and help establish a sense of belonging in the neighborhood. If I were to create a community of practice it would encourage its members to take action.