Community Development

College students and staff being trained to lead civic reflection discussions pose for a group picture
College students and staff from 4 universities across Chicago are being trained by CCR to facilitate discussions on critical campus and community issues through the Civic Reflection Fellows program.

​One of the most important outcomes of CCR’s trainings, resources, and reflective discussions is that communities and groups have the opportunity to connect and grow. CCR’s programming has proven to lead to:

  • Strengthened sense of connection, belonging and trust (i.e. social capital) within communities
  • Development of networks and opportunities for discussion within and across communities
  • Strengthened relationships with colleagues and community members, and partnerships with communities and leaders
  • Creation and support of teams of facilitators who can convene community members and lead dialogues on critical issues

Statistics:

  • 100% of library staff reported developing new partnerships as a result of their dialogues, including civic and political leaders. Read more
  • 71% of AmeriCorps members agreed or strongly agreed that their "Justice Talking” discussions improved their relationships with other members or volunteers. Read more
  • 87% of public discussion participants indicated that they valued learning from and hearing perspectives from fellow community members. Read more
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I believe the clearest and strongest benefit [of the Justice Talking program] is the team-building and thoughtful reflection it encourages. Our members are scattered throughout the state at host sites, so building a relationship among them is important but challenging. This year, we had an issue within the corps that caused some tension among the members, and I believe the Justice Talking program helped them to get back in a shared service mindset and into a team spirit.

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--AmeriCorps Program Director, Ohio

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This process of civic reflection provides a meaningful structure for our Unitarian Universalist covenant group to have deeper conversations with each other about our UU principles and how we live our principles in the world. Through the readings and discussion, I feel more connected to the others in the group and grateful to learn and grow from each person's perspective.

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--Discussion Participant

Unitarian Church of Evanston