Shondra Muhammad is the Deputy Executive Director at the S.H.A.P.E Community Center in Houston Texas. S.H.A.P.E works to improve people’s lives through programs and activities that focus on their values of unity, self-determination, collectiveness, cooperative economics, creativity, and faith.

In our interview with Shondra, we discussed how to effectively build trust within a community so that your constituents not only feel safe and willing to give you feedback but also trust that you will act on their feedback and adapt your programs and activities to better serve them.

Kyende Kinoti, interviewer:  What is the focus of your organization’s feedback practice and why is listening important to you?

Shondra Muhammad, narrator: Our feedback practice has always been organic. We are community-based so there’s a lot of face to face contact, for example, in a restaurant or at the grocery store people in the community just let us know what’s going on, how they feel, or any changes that they want to see. We’re also really accessible through our social media so feedback kind of comes in naturally. Whereas, listening gives us the opportunity to take what people are saying and put it into action.We were born in the civil rights movement, so it was a time of a lot of protests, a lot of change, and people had a lot to say; S.H.A.P.E was a vehicle for people to take their protests and put them into programs.

Read the full article about relationships in communities by Kyende Kinoti at FeedbackLabs.