Creating Inclusive Meeting Space to Ensure Community Participation
A checklist for organizations dedicated to health equity
For any community or patient engagement strategy to be effective, it is critical that all stakeholders are included in the decisions that impact them. These decision-making processes often occur at in-person meetings — spaces where power dynamics and cultural differences must be considered to ensure all voices are heard. An inclusive meeting space prevents situations where affected individuals or groups are invited to the table, but not allowed to fully participate. Full participation is usually easy to gauge: stakeholders are engaged, influence decisions that are made and directly affect meeting outcomes.
Creating a truly inclusive meeting space is a challenge that takes time and careful planning. But when executed successfully, inclusive spaces result in a safe, trusting environment that encourages full group participation, diversity of thought and equitable decision-making that are needed to advance community-centered health goals. This simple checklist captures best practices that bring awareness to behaviors that work for and against this level of inclusion.