“Give us more detailed counsel for using social media when a community faces division.” A comment such as this one was the most common response to the Divided Community Project’s first two reports, Key Considerations for Community Leaders Facing Civil Unrest and Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest, both issued in 2016. This report responds to that request.
In terms of new opportunities in the context of community division, community leaders can now use social media and apps to provide a reliable source of information for residents, to improve their ability to hear and serve constituents, and to strengthen connections among residents and their pride in community.
In terms of new challenges, unrest can occur with little warning; those concerned about an issue now have inexpensive and effective ways to tell a story, stir emotions, create a sense of involvement in a larger movement, and give notice of protest plans.
This report offers strategies for community leaders dealing with community division against the backdrop of these opportunities and challenges.