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Belonging – The Heart of Inclusion

Submitted by John Lord on September 30, 2013 - 11:01pm
Building A Community of Belonging: It Starts with Conversation


Imagine neighbourhoods where everyone feels a sense of belonging, where inclusion trumps fear. Imagine workplaces where people belong, and where respect and collaboration trump power and politics. Imagine schools where belonging trumps bullying and streaming.

The New Story Group of Waterloo Region is taking the idea of creating communities of belonging very seriously. With a commitment to building inclusive communities, New Story Group believes that belonging is the heart of inclusion. Belonging provides a rich framework for thinking about how communities can be welcoming and include everyone.

The New Story Group has been having conversations about belonging for some time. This fall, they are pleased to be hosting a two-part community event called Building a Community of Belonging: It Starts with Conversation on October 15th and November 25th, 2013 in Kitchener-Waterloo with a broad range of community leaders, activists, people receiving support, and service providers.

Our experience and research suggests that there are three elements to belonging.


  • Presence – You cannot be included if you are not present.
  • Participation – While presence makes participation possible, participation and engagement are the basis of so much health and happiness; and,
  • Relationships – People’s strong need for affiliation and relatedness is the basis of belonging.


These three inter-related concepts create a Belonging Lens that can be used to deepen community conversations about how to create inclusive communities where everyone can feel a sense of belonging.

We hope that you can join us.


belonging_poster_sep_26.pdf1003.58 KB
Looking forward to more!

Hi John,

Thanks for sharing with our community- the first session was great! Looking forward to what might emerge at our next gathering.

I am also planning on writing a blog reflection on the first gathering- so, stay tunned!