Key themes from the GM Lankelly Chase Learning Community
by Amy Wheatman
It feels as though there is a movement building with a sense of shared purpose around social justice in Greater Manchester. Although we all have different interests and different perspectives, groups are coalescing around the issues that are important to them to create a collective identity. With this coming together, there is the potential to do something really powerful.
Creating the right environment
How do collectives come together? We often have the impulse to organise, but do we need to hold the position of gatekeeper to create direction and to unify people around certain issues deemed important? Or alternatively, is our role to create the spaces for people to come together to share stories and organically form groups around their shared values and purpose?
Connecting and weaving
Do we need infrastructure in place to be able to share information and learning? Mapping connections across Greater Manchester might identify overlap where groups are working on similar themes, enabling people to come together and widen their networks. However, mapping contacts on the page is not the same as forging real-life connections and trust is needed to share information and to have wider impact.
Spaces to reflect
We often feel pressure to take action but there is benefit in being in the ‘development phase’ and taking time to reflect. There are opportunities for ‘Sankofa’ – to reflect on the past and bring forward what is important for today. How can we relate our learning to the present situation and use this to engage with people who might not seem to have a place and those that will carry this learning into the future?
Building an alliance requires commitment. An investment of energy is needed to generate and maintain momentum. What is our commitment to each other as this newly formed group?
The Learning Community Space
Learning brought this group together, but do we want to continue in this way or is this space developing into a platform for us to identify our shared purpose? Can we coproduce a space to bring our wider networks together and to celebrate our movement towards change?