Justina Crawford is a Creative Community Fellows alum who works for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her picture of community is impacted by current events and reflects creating more inclusive environments.
After living in Boston for almost two years, I’ve often pondered the definition of community as I become acclimated to new spaces, faces, languages, and environments that continue to shift based upon perceptions. I once defined community as a group of like minded people with similarities. But I feel like this mindset is toxic because it forces us to be creatures of habit and to only connect with those we find things in common with.
In these times, we must form relationships with folks who are outside of our usual networks or communities. We must deepen our relationships with those we do not know to better understand and inform others of what is needed to achieve equity.
With new headlines and acts of displacement, erasure, and injustices being mandated by those with privilege, our definitions of community and belonging are threatened more than ever. Because of this, we should rethink our definition of community so that all believe they are assets and essential to everyone, not just the few.