Every day, Parkersburg residents drive past a sign on their way in and out of town that reads: “We see that sign every day, but how often do we think about what it means?” said Jean Ambrose, a Wood County resident. Nearly 60 Mid-Ohio Valley (MOV) community members—including seven of nine Parkersburg City Council members—came… Read More What’s Next, Wood County? Asks Tough Questions
The WV Center for Civic Life is delighted to welcome Brittany Means Carowick to our staff, as part of a one-year fellowship to support Appalachian communities in economic transition. Brittany will be working with our What’s Next, West Virginia? initiative as we expand our work to include communities affected by the floods of June 2016. Brittany… Read More Welcome, Brittany!
This one-hour webinar presents information on the importance of community discussions, the vital role of the people facilitating those discussions, the types of discussion processes and the different situations where they work best. [Audio begins about 00:00:50.] The webinar mentions five handouts, which you can download here: Asking Powerful Questions Safe Neighborhoods Guide – Huntington… Read More Webinar: Facilitating Community Discussions
This one-hour webinar provides information about bringing “What’s Next, West Virginia?” to your community. What’s Next is a framework designed to encourage talking, thinking, and actions based on West Virginians’ own ideas for building a more vibrant and diverse local and statewide economy. Much work is already underway across WV to strengthen local economies. What’s Next, WV?… Read More Webinar: Bring “What’s Next” to Your Community
Putting on a Civic Life Institute is a big job. In 2016, we were fortunate to have the assistance of Kaycie Stushek, who at the time was interning with our friends at the WV Community Development Hub. Kaycie is finishing a Master’s in Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on community development and environmental planning.… Read More Civic Life Institute: Kaycie’s experience
In a recent post, I mentioned my attendance at a Training for Change (TFC) workshop. Another TFC exercise that I found really insightful was what TFC calls “Team Types.” The exercise was introduced by a story, shared by Katey, one of the trainers, about the experience of organizing the 2011 March on Blair Mountain. In her… Read More Are you missing a key team member?
A few weeks back, I attended a workshop offered by Training for Change at West Virginia Wesleyan College. This workshop was called Training for Social Action Trainers, and it was quite an experience. Here’s the beginning of the description of one of these workshops, from the Training for Change website: “WHY THIS WORKSHOP? Training and facilitation… Read More Training for Change “training for trainers” workshop
A hush has fallen over the hallways here at the W. Va. Center for Civic Life, and it’s not just that we are stunned by the heat wave (although we are also stunned by the heat wave): just days ago, we presented the 20th Civic Life Institute, and after all of the frenzied preparations in the… Read More Another Civic Life Institute is in the record books!
What do you remember about your first Institute? “What struck me during the first Institute I attended was that people who advocated for an approach that was very far from my perspective, were often raising the same concerns that I had and wanting the same societal outcome. We just had reached different conclusions about how… Read More Mary Pat Peck: “If we don’t find ways to respectfully talk, we cannot begin to work together on solutions.”
Some interesting thinking from Youngstown, where city leaders have apparently decided to “stop trying to return [the city] to its glory days as a city of 170,000 people and instead embrace the idea that maybe smaller is better.” Smaller, in this case, means the city has now adopted an official goal of retaining the 66,000 who… Read More “Embracing the shrinkage” in Youngstown, Ohio