Just Add Science talks a lot about the power of ‘just showing up’. That it’s important to create a sense of presence in a community by BEING present. However, it’s important to underscore that just because you show up, it doesn’t mean that people are obligated or ready to engage and that it’s up to you to build that relationship up to the point that communication is possible.
The Indian River Lagoon Science Festival has been working for a few years on trying to build a festival that serves their local community and while they’ve felt they were reaching a good cross section of that community, a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. day parade proved them wrong.
There is a fine line to walk as an community outreach entity where you want to be present for all the diverse parts of your community but it’s important not to trivialize the interaction to being a diversity check mark on a deliverables sheet.
In this clip, the IRLSF team reflects a little on whether or not they were doing a good job of reaching the parts of their community they wanted to reach, and what that meant to them.
But you really ought to hear them tell the story.