What 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… Read More Kent Spellman on the Civic Life Institute: “This kind of work needs to be in every community”
What is the value of the Civic Life Institute, and the Center’s work more generally? “This society is really good at building walls and fighting over them, but how many times can we all go into a room, sit down, talk, and everyone comes out feeling better? That’s what the Center does so well.” Does… Read More Paul Gilmer on the Civic Life Institute: “How many times can we all go into a room, sit down, talk, and everyone comes out feeling better?”
What struck you about the Civic Life Institutes you have attended? “What I saw that was powerful was the realization that took hold, that we all may speak or look different but we want the same things: we want our children to be healthy, we want our grandchildren to have a good school. And the key… Read More Becky Ceperley on the Civic Life Institute: “The key was communication, breaking through divisions before anyone could do anything.”
+ Sutton Stokes, Associate Director We have a messaging problem, when it comes to convincing you to attend the Civic Life Institute, our annual workshop on community engagement practices. See, the very nature of community engagement work prevents us from making you any grand promises. Community engagement, and the process of building what we call “civic… Read More What the heck is the Civic Life Institute, and what can it do for me?
At this crucial moment for the future of Appalachia, we must keep trying to find ways to talk and work together. Even when we don’t see eye to eye. Especially when we don’t see eye to eye. Please join us for the 2016 Civic Life Institute (July 19-20 at University of Charleston) to explore effective practices for: Bringing people together to talk about… Read More Can we talk?
“This is what I want to do when I grow up.” I said these words to Betty Knighton, director of the West Virginia Center for Civic Life, during a break at the Center’s 2011 Civic Life Institute, in Martinsburg. If Betty had asked me what I meant by “this,” I couldn’t have answered with a… Read More A note from the new associate director