A Small Group, Restoring and Reconciling Cincinnati
September 30, 2022         Sign-up for our newsletters.

Download The Civic Engagement Series Booklet (PDF)

Peter Block discusses A Small Group

What is Civic Engagement?


"If you want to change the world - or the culture - all you have to do is change the conversation. In the beginning was the word -- that was how the Bible started. Asking the question of what is true wealth invites people to have a conversation they may never have had before. That itself is a measure of wealth! The value of our coming together can be measured by whether or not we are able to have a conversation we have not had before. A conversation is an action."

    -- Peter Block


A Small Group uses a means of engagement designed to:

  • Acknowledge the interdependence of associations. To be serious about creating a restorative community, we need to organize our services around a neighborhood (i.e., a school building), instead of being organized around causes and disciplines. There needs to be a shift in our regard to boundaries.
  • Change the conversation, from:
    • problem-solving to possibility,
    • negotiation and pursuit of narrow interests to the co-creation of common purpose,
    • blame to taking responsibility, and
    • retribution to restoration
  • Make connection and relationship the point. Problems exist to create relationships, not the other way around. Politics create strange bedfellows; relationships create surprising friends and allies.
  • Focus on gifts which replaces our focus on deficiencies. This is the work: to value and bring to the center the gifts of those in the community that remain on the margin.

beginning of quote Everything you can imagine is real. -- Pablo Picasso end of quote
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