Brighton holds inclusion as an essential core value. In preparation for developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan for the Town of Brighton, the IDEA Board sought ways to include the voices of as many residents of Brighton as possible and as early as possible. The Board wanted to ensure that residents had an opportunity to contribute while the plan was still being developed.
To gather input, the Board held focus groups, individual conversations and a type of large group conversation called The World Café used all over the world for community and organization development and planning.
The IDEA Board chose The World Café as a primary method to capture and include input to the IDEA plan. The World Café process is a way to have a meaningful conversation with a large group. This is accomplished by posing an interesting and important question, and then seating the participants in small groups and inviting them to discuss the question. About every 15 minutes, participants change groups and continue the conversation with new people. The combination of the question and the process of engaging with a variety of people typically leads to the emergence of great ideas. Respectful discussion of different points of view are essential to the success of the World Café. From different perspectives come insights and new perspectives.
Typically, World Café conversations are held in person. The IDEA Board planned for 3 in person events in Brighton, but when in person events were cancelled as a result of COVID-19, the Board planned virtual conversations instead. (Virtual World Café conversations are common when participants can’t be in the same room.)
In the late summer and early fall of 2020, the IDEA Board hosted three virtual World Café conversations, open to all members of the Brighton community. The question that was used to spark conversation was, “What could the Town of Brighton do to foster inclusion, diversity, and equity in our community?” Over 100 people shared their thoughts, their questions, and their suggestions. The ideas were captured and included in the list of ideas that the IDEA Board used to prepare the IDEA Plan.
The IDEA Board presented the draft plan to the Brighton Town Board on February 23, 2022. In the coming weeks there will be opportunities for public comment on the plan, which will help refine the plan in anticipation of final approval by the Town Board. Watch this website for details.
The IDEA Plan presented to the Town Board is a result of the contributions of many Brighton residents. The IDEA Board and the Town Board thank everyone who chose to share their ideas and perspectives in a positive way.