White Papers

Inclusive Communities

Designing places where people feel they belong.

As we progress through our lives, a sense of community often happens organically through shared experiences, like the relationships we build in the office lunch room or at the dog park. But as people transition out of these ingrained patterns of communal gathering, how can we recapture that sense of belonging in a new place? Community can form through a sense of belonging and shared culture. However, we each define what it means to feel included differently. Across the country, more and more communities for older adults are taking on the task of opening their doors to segments of the population who have been historically left out. Finding acceptance in a community can be more than just a comfort; it is critical to one’s well-being. This paper explores how the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are key to building communities around shared values.