For many people, finding a sense of belonging and connection to others in community can be challenging and often overwhelming. A new website is making that easier. myCommunity BC is an online tool that engages citizens to share and celebrate the places in their community that are inclusive, value diversity, and are welcoming of everyone.
“We have much to celebrate in our communities. People are thinking intentionally about how to build inclusive spaces that honour and celebrate diversity,” says Jessica Humphrey, CLBC Self Advocate Advisor, and BC Community Asset Mapping Network Animator. “myCommunity BC is one way to share stories about where we feel welcome in our community in hopes to strengthen opportunities for social connection and belonging for all people.”
The tool was developed by the BC Community Asset Mapping Network, the Family Support Institute, and Community Living BC (CLBC), to support the inclusion of people who live with disabilities in everyday places beyond the disability world. It has attracted the interest of community libraries and other community groups who see its potential for use by all community members.
“Mapping our community for safe and welcoming places will encourage people with diverse abilities, including anxiety and depression, to get out and try new things and meet new people,” says Michelle Goos, CLBC Strategic Initiative Advisor and BC Community Asset Mapping Network Founding Member.
Users can simply visit www.mycommunitybc.com. On the map they will find places and spaces that others recommend as inclusive and welcoming. The map will default to their location and list places that can then be filtered by category and other criteria. The more people add to and recommend places, the more there will be to explore on the map for others. Users can create an account to save their own map of places, or they can submit locations on the public map.
“The Family Support Institute is thrilled to be a part of creating a site where we can all come together to talk about inclusion and celebrate places in communities where we all belong,” says Angela Clancy, Executive Director with the Family Support Institute (FSI). “There are so many places in our communities all over BC that are welcoming of all people. The more we highlight and talk about these places, the more people can explore, be part of their communities, and meet their fellow neighbours and citizens. FSI is excited to be a part of this community building initiative.”
myCommunity BC was made possible by the Family Support Institute of BC, Community Living BC, and the BC Community Asset Mapping Network. myCommunity BC is available by desktop and mobile devices at www.mycommunitybc.com
The BC Community Mapping Network was started in 2017 by CLBC Community Council members who came together to learn how to use community mapping to build connections and increase inclusion and belonging for all people. For more information visit www.bccommunityassetmapping.com
Family Support Institute of BC works to strengthen, connect and build communities and resources with families of people with disabilities in BC. For more information visit www.familysupportbc.com
myCommunity BC was developed by B.C.-based Motiontide Media, a digital agency that helps organizations build effective digital platforms and communication strategies. For more information visit www.motiontide.com