Linked and Distinct: Humanities-Based Discussion and American Civic Life

Author(s)

Elizabeth Lynn

Source

CCR

File

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"

Our research suggests that the range of interpretation itself is the single most important discovery for most participants. It is not so much what people say, as that they say different things, that surprises and even exhilarates participants.

"

--Elizabeth Lynn

Founding Director, Project on Civic Reflection at Valparaiso University

"

I found the entire experience to be very affirming. It gave me a greater understanding of exactly what I do and its importance in the big picture - it also helped me... think more clearly not just about who we are and what we are actually doing, but who we are called to be and how that may be changing - and what should not change. It helped me as a leader, deeply and personally.

"

--Participant, Uplifting Nonprofit Leadership Discussion Series

Outcome

Civic EngagementDialogue Across DifferencesLeadership DevelopmentRetention and Sustainability

Description

​Elizabeth Lynn founded the Project on Civic Reflection at Valparaiso University in 1988. She is now the Director of Valparaiso University’s Institute for Leadership and Service. In her essay, "Linked and Distinct: Humanities-Based Discussion and American Civic Life," Lynn identifies and explores the need for humanities-based reflective discussion in civic life. Lynn discusses her work at the Project on Civic Reflection and various findings about impact, including participants' greater comfort with differing values and beliefs and increased civic commitment and engagement. As Lynn says: "Participants walk away from civic reflection conversations feeling both linked and distinct -- connected to others, yet inspired to act in accordance with their own convictions and beliefs."