NEW Community Dialogue Initiative!
Corona Dialogues is a virtual discussion series that will explore the impact and ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, work from the ground-up to discover innovative solutions across silos and communities and begin building new frameworks for the future. Occurring in three phases, these conversations will be grounded in the Civic Reflection Dialogue method, which uses materials such as text, artwork, music, or video, as the starting point for conversation.
PHASE I: Past Prologue, Future Tense. Participants will discuss an excerpt from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union speech and reflect on civic life in uncertain times, then and now. Each dialogue will have a different set of facilitators offering new approaches to explore the topic.
PHASE I DATES:
Thursday, Sept. 10, 4:30-6:30pm
Sunday, Sept. 13, 3-5pm
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 6-8pm
Thursday, Sept. 17a, 1-3pm
Thursday, Sept. 17b, 4-6pm - CANCELED
Saturday, Sept. 19, 10am – 12pm
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 6-8pm - CANCELED
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1-3pm
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 10am-12pm
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 6-8pm
Sunday, Oct. 11, 3-5pm
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 3-5pm
Thursday, Oct. 22, 6-8pm
(Click on the date of your choice to RSVP for the conversation you'd like to attend. The same text will be discussed at each session but led by different facilitators. Sign up for more than one, if you like!)
Phase I Facilitators:
LaShawnda Crowe Storm
Pam Blevins Hinkle
Maria Hamilton Abegunde
Julia Muney Moore
PHASE II: Dreaming of New Worlds Science Fiction Workshop. Local science fiction author Maurice Broaddus will lead a workshop for community members that have participated in at least one of the Phase I discussions. Maurice will use the power of the literary arts to transition the Corona Dialogues into a phase where participants can image new possibilities and action steps. This workshop will be repeated twice to accommodate as many participants as possible, but will be capped at 40 per session.
PHASE II DATES:
Sunday, Sept. 27, 2-5 pm
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2-5pm
Phase III: Building New Worlds. This phase will pivot and bring participants together in groups based on their interests to create new solutions and working models for the future. What comes from this will be shared publicly as a framework anyone can use for future work towards systemic change. Each topic will have 2-3 brainstorming sessions, and these include the following with sub-categories:
1. Equity and Racial Justice (Racial Justice, Policy Reform, Police Violence)
2. Community Health and Wellness (Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Environmental Justice, Health Equity, Community Violence and Contemplative and Spiritual Practice, Senior Care)
3. Food Access and Security
4. Youth Development (K-12 Education, Community Education)
5. Equitable Development and Economics (Worker’s Rights, Evictions, Housing Policy)
6. Policy and Systems Change (Political Processes, Movement Building)
PHASE III DATES: To be determined based on community feedback during Phase I and II.
Privacy & Accommodations
In order to foster open dialogue and to protect participant privacy, these sessions will not be recorded and transcripts will not be made available.
For participants who are deaf, live captioning is a possible option. If you are in need of accommodations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with 72hrs of the scheduled event. Please be advised Zoom limits live captioning to only one breakout room at a time.
Thanks to our partners!
The Corona Dialogues is made possible with support from our partners: Community Action of Greater Indianapolis; Asante Children’s Theatre; Medical Health and Humanities Program in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; and The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate.
Past Community Engagement Initiatives
In 2016, Kheprw Institute and Spirit and Place ran an 8-month community conversation series focused on gentrification called Gentrify: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. With more than 400 participants city-wide, this series highlighted a variety of voices: community activists, city officials, development professionals, and residents. Working and learning together, participants created a space to dig in deeper on the complex issue of gentrification and its impact on community.
A spin-off of Gentrify emerged in 2017 that aimed to move learning to action. From the Ground Up met monthly at Kheprw Institute and invited the community to dive deep into projects that THEY wanted to launch or expand. The meetings at Kheprw helped community members develop strategies and discover how to best develop and use their social capital and relationships.
Also in 2017, Spirit & Place and the Kheprw Institute launched Equity in Action. Topics tackled during this speaker/community conversation series included:
Liberty & Justice for All? Legal and Criminal Justice
Something from Nothing: Economy & Social Capital
Public Dollars for the Public Good?
Prisons, Re-entry and Modern Day Slavery
Environmental Policy in the Post Obama Era
Red Lining, Housing Discrimination and Gentrification
The Color Line: Arts, Equity & Inclusion
From late 2017 through 2018, Spirit & Place conducted a series called Powerful Conversations on Race. This monthly community discussion series explored the themes set out in the text Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism and Racial Violence.
Community-based facilitators trained by Spirit & Place in the civic reflection dialogue method focused on text and other source materials to catalyze community conversations about race and racism in America. These community dialogues provided an opportunity to engage in deep conversations, listen to each other, and be pushed to our growing edge.
Learn more about lessons learned and future plans here.
Community Engagement Philosophy
Beginning in 2015, Spirit & Place reevaluated and began to move away from an outreach model of working within the community towards one rooted in community engagement. Some of the major changes in how we are moving deal not only with a perspective shift, but in incorporating new strategies in working with our community. Our engagement approach can be viewed from three broad categories:
• People-Centered Engagement
• Adaptability and Flexibility
• Capacity Building and Collective Impact
• Embracing Emergence
We’ve reoriented our perspective from “outreach” (which assumes a center/source and a target) to “community engagement” (which embraces reciprocal and ongoing relationship / community development that builds trust). In this model, time is the most critical investment to successfully build effective, collaborative relationships and programs. Being present at crucial community conversations is important, as well as listening without expectation or agenda. In being present and listening to learn and understand, community concerns are in the driver seat and approaches are people centered.
Adaptability and Flexibility
Flexibility is essential to effective community building and civic engagement work in order to accommodate its many forms, which range from bringing together disparate groups with similar interests and compatible skills to pairing a more established group to mentor a start-up group. It is also important for Spirit & Place to have a presence in current events and issues.
Capacity Building and Collective Impact
We continue to explore what it means for Spirit and Place to fulfill its mission via a collective impact approach or bringing our “A Game” to support community capacity building around civic engagement. In this approach, weaving together new relationships and collaborations leads to exciting opportunities for unseen voices to emerge and new ways of seeing and doing. It may also mean that we use our work in community and in program design to support our community partners as they move forward to looking at new ways of working in the community.
Centering “emergence” in our work simply means embracing the unknown and looking forward to the journey instead of focusing simply on the destination>; following the doors that open and carving new paths. Most importantly taking a risk to embrace and celebrate what may emerge from the process of working with, centering, and valuing our community. This principal often manifests simply by showing up and seeing what happens, who is there, building bridges, network weaving and then finding ways to move to action.
For more information about upcoming Community Engagement derived programming, click here for the Year-Round Events Page.
LaShawnda Crowe Storm
Community Engagement Director, Spirit and Place Festival
Email: email@example.com (best option)