A Small Group, Restoring and Reconciling Cincinnati
February 5, 2023         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 An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. --Ghandi end of quote
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