Lesson 2: Cultivate Trust With Strategic Local Community Leaders

Win over influential local leaders to gain wider acceptance in the broader community.

Getting Started
  1. Engage directly with local and community leaders. Align yourself with the local faith community, such as Black church leaders. If you don't have local leaders' buy-in and willingness to vouch for you, you are set up for failure.
  2. Exercise patience and understanding. Projects progress at the speed of trust, which is earned over time. Many unserved and underserved communities have been promised many things and have been let down in one way or another. You must make the effort to understand the foundation of mistrust and underlying issues.
  3. Align yourself mentally with local communities to empathize with their situations. These are real people who care about their communities, children, and institutions. You should have “we,” not “they,” as a mindset.

Scott D. Woods

VP - Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships


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