Kent Spellman on the Civic Life Institute: “This kind of work needs to be in every community”

Kent-croppedWhat was your first impression of the Civic Life Institute?

“When I went to my first one, it was immediately clear that this kind of work needs to be in every community, and needs to be part of all community development work.”

But aren’t community conversations “just talk”? With all the problems we face, do we have time for conversation?

“We have to make clear that, unless a community is having these conversations, none of its problems will ever be fixed. If a community is going to move forward, it has to be driven from the inside, and conversations are the only way for a community to figure out where it needs to go.”

The 2016 Civic Life Institute, our annual workshop on community engagement techniques, is July 19-20 at the University of Charleston. Register here:

Kent Spellman just retired as founder and executive director of the West Virginia Community Development Hub. Many of us have heard Kent say that “all successful community development projects start with a conversation.” Kent is on the Board of Directors of the WV Center for Civic Life.


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