In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice queries the Cheshire Cat: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cat answers, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Your community—whether it be a health clinic or school, neighborhood or entire state—also needs a vision in order to plot its next move. Without a shared vision, communities may flounder or fracture, lose momentum or become snarled in multiple, competing agendas.
“A shared vision starts with a question: Where do we want to go together?” Sandra Bloom, associate professor in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University, told MARC participants when they gathered in November 2015.
In order to develop such a vision, members of the community—health workers and clients, principals and students, administrators and families—must be able to talk across barriers of age, gender, identity, race, class and experience. A shared vision fosters inclusion, instills a sense of purpose, bolsters internal commitments and clarifies next steps. It inspires. It becomes a measure of progress.