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Fighting, Healing, and Preventing



Sustainable and Regenerative Change


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Our Rutland Belonging Collective PURPOSE is to build and foster a sustainable and equitable community-wide network that coordinates resources, experiences, knowledge, and skills to affect systemic changes and grow a culture of compassionate belonging in Rutland County.

Our Objectives:

  • Center, value, and compensate people with lived experience with inequity, stigma, exclusion, and chronic aloneness to lead changes.

  • Increase understanding of exclusion, stigma, and marginalization and define the impacts they have on chronic aloneness.

  • Collaboratively remove barriers and implement projects to increase equity and inclusion for all people, especially those most marginalized and underserved.  

  • Build and sustain equitable, brave, and non-shaming spaces for listening, learning, connecting, and growing compassionate belonging together throughout Rutland County.


Who We Are

This is a space for all kinds of leaders from our communities - individuals just like you, who want to make a difference with the knowledge they've gained through their life experiences - who want to make our communities and our systems work well for all people. We are individuals, community organizations, businesses, and government organizations, all working to increase equity so that all people here have an opportunity to experience belonging and thrive.

Our Impact So Far...

  • $168,000 sub-granted to eight health equity projects throughout Rutland County 2022-23.

  • 10 Core Leaders hired to guide the work from their lived experiences.

  • Participation on community DEI Committees to connect people and resources.

  • A county-wide data research and development project on loneliness & belonging that will identify needs and prioritize projects for collaborative solutions.

  • Building an online resource to coordinate all of this work.

How Loneliness & Belonging Intersect with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

We love this venn diagram from Dr. Randal Pinkett's book "Data Driven DEI." (purchase his book!)  Feeling valued and cared for helps us to feel less alone and increases our sense of belonging. Intentionally working to honor diversity and ensure equity and inclusion helps our homes, workplaces and community spaces to grow belonging, helping people to feel less alone. Feeling belonging improves our individual, family, and community health. Join our efforts today!















Pinkett, R. (2023). Data Driven DEI: The Tools and Metrics You Need to Measure, Analyze, and Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (1st ed., p. xix). Wiley.


(The above venn diagram describes the relationship between diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging. It has a circle on the top that says “diversity is a fact: the range of human differences”, and a circle to the left that says “equity is a choice: fairness and equality in outcomes” and a circle to the right that says “inclusion is an action: involvement and empowerment. In the center it says “belonging is an outcome: feeling valued, heard, and accepted.”)


Why Did We Create This?

Social Tinkering began shaping the idea for this project in fall of 2021 after implementing the All Are Welcome Here Visibility Campaign to create action steps to complement visibility.

1.  Changemaking can be lonely-making. Why not come together to support each other so we feel less alone with the weight of the task? Building belonging can't be done alone.

2.  A lot of people are wanting to learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion but don't know where to turn, feel shame around not knowing, and aren't sure who to ask for help. We build bridges to coordinate learning and resources, and create spaces of connection where mistakes are part of the process of growing and doing better.

3.  If we are going to learn and grow and change in a sustainable way, we need to listen to the people who have faced the most bias and discrimination. Those of us who are privileged to have not experienced a lot of bias and inequity, need to be aware of our impact on folks who are often marginalized and underserved. We need to do the work necessary to understand each other and make things better for all people. As we all try to figure out how to do better when we know better, we need to be mindful that we're not asking people with deeply lived experiences of bias and discrimination to guide us all without compensation and recognition of their incredible effort and emotional toll.

4.  Lastly, the All Are Welcome Here visibility initiative isn't 100% true - there is still a lot of work we can do to get there. We will do this work while increasing visibility through this campaign. Learn how you can help us increase visibility!

The Plan in a Nutshell

1. Define a baseline for where Rutland County is currently at with loneliness & belonging; and compare to other data for the region.

2. Identify benchmarks to work towards 10, 20, 50 years from now.

3. Create short and long-term goals to reach those benchmarks.

4. Identify what's working and clarify the gaps and needs.

5. Create a hub of online resources for learning that is tailored to our communities.

6. Offer consulting, partner memberships, events, discussions, trainings, and workshops to help people learn, grow, and engage with each other.

Interested in learning more?

Contact us at or call 802-342-5811 to set up a conversation to connect and get creative!

Pinkett Venn Diagram on DEI and Belonging.png

Rutland Belonging Collective

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