Traditional community engagement efforts – particularly those aimed at reaching the most vulnerable and marginalized communities – were already challenging before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, with restrictions on in-person events and on-the-ground outreach, community organizations, civic institutions, City agencies and others must find innovative and creative ways to ensure that community participation and resident voices in civic and planning processes are not overlooked.

For Hester Street, community engagement continues to be at the core of all of our work despite these mounting challenges. Since the onset of the pandemic in NYC, our team has been working with community partners to pilot, explore and test tactics to maintain community outreach both on and offline. We have been collecting, developing and testing community outreach methods that incorporate creative solutions to help organizations, organizers, planners and others continue their engagement efforts when in-person convenings are no longer possible.

Our team developed this Resource Guide to share the strategies we have collected in hopes of helping others center inclusive engagement processes in their work, and we will continue building upon these concepts collectively as we navigate engagement in this new world. Preview the Resource Guide below, and share your ideas with us at!

Download the full interactive resource here.


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