Communities, Complexities, and Commonalities

By NAS     Aug 11, 2016
What does community mean to you? What are the most important aspects of a community?
In this Stanford Social Innovation Review article, David Chavis and Kien Lee discuss many of the elements that are key to community: location, meeting common needs, a sense of safety and belonging, and a shared history.

They also point out the complex nature of communities:

“When a funder or evaluator looks at a neighborhood, they often struggle with its boundaries, as if streets can bind social relationships. Often they see a neighborhood as the community, when, in fact, many communities are likely to exist within it, and each likely extends well beyond the physical boundaries of the neighborhood.”

What do you think of this definition of community? What are some “matryoshka doll” communities you’ve encountered? Would you even categorize them in that way?