December 2, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

How to Find a More Inclusive Neighborhood

It’s about time that more people are becoming aware of the need for more inclusive neighborhood vibes. Subtle and overt discrimination has been happening for years, and many places are starting to take notice of how their policies may be creating a hostile environment for some people. HOA’s for instance will often limit the types of décor that people can use outside their homes including religious, political, and identifying flags and signs.

Not All Your Neighbors Look Like You

In an inclusive neighborhood you’ll find people who look different than you. They will have different values and might even be a different race or religion. Inclusivity looks a lot like diversity. All people are welcome, and they can share their ideas and opinions without fear of repercussions. Neighborhood apps won’t target one race for instance as being the instigators in a neighborhood. And in many ways, will help promote more diversity in the community.

The Community Actively Participates in Anti-Racism Efforts

If you want a neighborhood where you’ll feel welcome, look for a community that is active in changing things for people of all races. You want a community where they are fighting for equality and social justice in all things. For example, anti-racism efforts have improved inclusivity, but there is still more work to be done to make neighborhoods more welcoming for people of all races.  Whether they are working with school boards or the local city hall, there are plenty of ways to make a difference.

Online Groups Don’t Belittle Others

Inclusive neighborhoods are ones that don’t allow each other to be unkind. They will work directly with individuals to solve real problems without airing their dirty laundry online. They help moderate people in online groups so that they don’t get caught up in racist language and stereotypes.

They Have Access For People of All Abilities

Have you ever needed to cross the street in a wheelchair? What challenges do you think might arise? An inclusive neighborhood considers people with different abilities and makes accommodations for them. Additionally, the playgrounds have ramps and swings and slides that consider children with varying needs as well. Neighborhoods that are truly inclusive have sidewalks that are smooth and wide and can not only account for that garbage can, but for the people who walk or roll across it as well. An inclusive neighborhood will also consider people with vision and sight disabilities and offer better lighting as well.

Read Online Reviews

Some neighborhoods have reviews online. It may sound weird, but you can get a good feel for the issues in an area just by reading these reviews. You can also ask for opinions in online forums, especially if people are willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you. Remember though, that for every bad review, there might be 5-10 good ones that no one ever wrote. But if there are recurrent issues or themes in the bad reviews, then you might want to take those problems seriously if you’re considering moving to that area.

Look for Signs and Flags

What kind of flags do you want flying in a neighborhood you live in? If you want a mix of people, look for neighborhoods that allow a variety of flag types. You’ll find out what people support just by looking at those flags. Additionally, if there is an election coming up, you may be able to get a feel for the political bend of the neighborhood by driving through to see which candidates people support. This can give you an overall sense of how diverse, or not diverse, the community is.  

Be a Good NeighborIntroduce yourself when someone new moves into the area. If you want to create a more inclusive neighborhood, be the first to promote it. When new people move in, it can be scary to go say hello to everyone. So, be kind and help them by being the first to say hi. If you find that you don’t agree on a topic, that’s okay. You can still be friendly and neighborly and look out for the people who live near you. Don’t gossip about them, be a help if they need it, and look for ways to bring your community together. You’d be amazed at the difference one person can make.

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