Who We Are

Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny. - Ghandi

We are shaped by the places we come from and shape those places in turn.

We believe in the power of the arts, humanities, and religion to strengthen and build community, foster deeper connections, and heal the world around us. Taking a people-centered approach, we invest time into building authentic relationships and co-create programming and capacity-building opportunities that address and reflect community needs and values. Housed in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, Spirit & Place is a self-funded, radically unique platform based on an ethos of fairness, hospitality, and equity.

Learn more below and check out out 2021 “Storybook” and 2022 Highlights to discover the variety of ways Spirit & Place puts its values in action.

Principles, Values, & People

  • We believe that the arts, humanities, and religion awaken the spirit and honor the sacred, sustain our intellectual and cultural inheritance, inspire imagination and creativity, and shape our communities.
  • We believe that understanding and sharing each community’s interlinked narrative (historical, cultural, environmental, economic, and spiritual) creates a sense of place that binds and builds both our personal and collective lives.
  • We believe that a healthy community respects and values the traditions, convictions, and contributions of diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural groups.
  • We believe that working together enhances creativity, strengthens capacity, creates new opportunities for discovery, and multiplies community impact.
  • We believe that fostering collaboration between diverse disciplines, traditions, ideas, and cultures requires thoughtful intention.
  • We believe in the power of imagination, and trust the ability of our communities to develop creative solutions to the challenges that face us.
  • We believe that ideas, programs, and resources should be available and accessible to all community members.
  • We believe in doing our best at all times, and we seek continuous improvement.
  • We believe in the efficient and effective use of our resources, and we are accountable for our actions.
  • PEOPLE-CENTERED: Our work is with and for people and we center those most impacted by injustice.
  • CO-CREATIVE: We move beyond collaboration to level hierarchies, blur boundaries, share power and authority, and engage the full range of participant gifts to unleash new insights, expressions, and paths forward.
  • GENERATIVE: Our work creates new reflection, knowledge, and/or practice that builds an ecosystem where all can grow.
  • ABUNDANT: Believing there is enough to go around, we share knowledge and resources freely, practice reciprocity, promote others and their achievements, and remain open to multiple possibilities.
  • GLOCAL: We view challenges within a community organizing framework, which sees social problems as neither local nor global, but interdependent and interconnected.
  • EMERGENT: We practice emergence, which means we adapt strategies over time as the initial intention is consistently re-evaluated in response to a changing reality.
These values emerged from community engagement principles established in 2015, the year we began to unpack our own complicity in upholding institutional racism. These principles call us to center community, show up, invest time, actively listen, adapt, weave networks, take risks, and work beyond the “commons” to weave an ecosystem that allows all to evolve and grow.


  • CENTER COMMUNITY: Support and follow the community’s goals and movement.
  • SHOW UP: Be present in community spaces and places and participate.
  • INVEST TIME: The most critical investment for success.
  • ACTIVELY LISTEN: Without expectation or agenda to center people and make way for new discoveries.
  • ADAPT: Be responsive and nimble.
  • WEAVE NETWORKS: Make space for unexpected collaborations, voices, and opportunities.
  • STAY RELEVANT: Be part of critical community issues, build relationships, and raise profile.
  • TAKE RISKS: Be open to mystery, follow doors that open, celebrate what emerges.
  • BEYOND THE COMMONS: Building things that support everyone requires that we sit with the complexity and diversity of
  • needs, dreams, limitations, and boundaries.
  • GENERATIVE: Work together to create a woven ecosystem that allows all to evolve and grow in the ways they need and desire.

Click here to learn more.

Click here to dive into our origin story, equity journey, beliefs, and BLM statement.

As our programming and dialogues have evolved, so too must our practices. Community-Centric Fundraising (CCF) is a new and emerging movement within the nonprofit sector that is grounded in equity and social justice, while centering around community. While this movement is emergent, many of the values and principles of CCF are in alignment with values Spirit & Place has held for the past two decades.

Learn more about Community Centric Fundraising.



Meet the Spirit & Place team!

  • Pam Blevins Hinkle, Director
  • LaShawnda Crowe Storm, Community Engagement Director
  • Erin Kelley, Program Director
  • Randy Talley, Administrative Assistant


Spirit & Place
Indiana University – Indianapolis
425 University Blvd., CA 003B
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Spirit & Place

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