Topic 3: Community Awareness

Community awareness is the ability to understand the policies and rules in a community or organization and how they affect the people in it. The understanding of social situations means carefully considering what people need and communicating with them in a way, that is designed to meet those needs. Community awareness includes:

  • respecting and making connections with people from different backgrounds;
  • understanding of different worldviews and sensitivity to diversity;
  • awareness of diversity as an opportunity; understanding of the key messages in a community or organization;
  • detection of important social networks and understanding of what has formed the views and actions of others.

Usually, a group, community or culture shares common values, which are referred to as dominant values. These values are reinforced by media, institutions, religious organizations and family.

Based on our values and experiences we also form our beliefs. Beliefs are the way we make sense of the world around us. “They are mental representations of the ways our brain expects things in our environment to behave, and how things should be related to each other—the patterns our brain expects the world to conform to.” . Unfortunately, we very often don’t realize that our beliefs are not exactly what is happening in the world right now, but just our mental picture or representation of it. Very often it is not shared with other people’s beliefs. This is also one ground for conflicts to arise, especially if beliefs are related to stereotypes.