Mission and Vision

The Center for Civic Reflection’s mission is to build community, deepen understanding, and strengthen commitment to civic life by helping people, communities and organizations think and talk about the meaning, value and impact of their work in the world. We foster the practice of reflective discussion, which utilizes provocative readings, images, and video, in order to help people consider the beliefs and values that underlie their commitments—leading to clarity about their work, stronger relationships, and more committed, effective action. 

Participants at a Chicago open-call training

What We Do

We lead community, workplace, and campus discussions across the country. We train facilitators to lead reflective discussions in their own communities and organizations. We find and create resources to help people have meaningful dialogue across difference, including books like The Civically Engaged Reader and Taking Action, an online resource library with over 300 readings, images, and videos to spark discussion, and toolkits and curricula designed for specific partners and sectors. We work with service and civic organizations, students and educators at all levels, health care practitioners, social workers, library and museum staff, non-profit boards, faith and interfaith organizations, and numerous other groups who are trying to make a positive difference in the world. Lastly, we help a number of groups and organizations across the country to integrate thoughtful, open-ended, humanities-based dialogue into their communities and workplaces.

What We Value

  • Participation, for everyone.
  • Connection between people and between what we do and who we are.
  • The expression and recognition of difference.
  • Questions, especially those that lead to more questions.
  • Fresh thinking and robust community.
  • Justice and the attempt to find it. 

What We Envision

  • A democracy strong enough to consider and re-consider its weaknesses and its strengths.
  • A more equal and just society where diversity and difference are valued as richness and opportunity.
  • A web of overlapping communities whose members hear one another and talk with one another about the challenges and opportunities they share.
  • An uncountable number of individuals who care, think and strive to improve the world around them.
  • A world in which what people do remains vitally connected to who they are and why they do it. 

Read about our outcomes to understand why.