The Civil Communities Initiative
The Civil Communities Initiative invites communities across the country to come together to have a civil conversation about the history of race in America, how historical events shape how we understand our country today, and how all Americans are adversely affected by this deep and debilitating problem. The Civil Conversations Project (www.civilconversationproject.org) believes that the narrative that America tells itself about who we are as a country perpetuates racism. We believe that our long unresolved history of racial animosity and racial injustice are both the primary obstacle to achieving this country’s potential and the root cause of the great divide we are experiencing today. Racism harms all Americans of all colors. As anti-Black racism is the most persistent – and at this point in our country’s history – the most embedded in our institutions, this is where The Civil Conversations Project has chosen to focus our efforts.
Through curated topics, supplemental materials and organizational support, communities can begin to develop a shared understanding about the systemic nature of racism, how to confront and ultimately change the course of our nation towards a safer, more equitable society for everyone. The Civil Conversations Initiative is designed to take the volatility out of discussions about race in order to move past the mental and social blocks that have impeded progress for over 400 years. Participants in the gatherings will have the opportunity to question their assumptions about race in America and to learn to talk productively about race in any setting. Using a “house party” model that is utilized by candidates for election and millions of book clubs across America, CCP will provide curated materials and support for neighbors to begin to have these civil conversations where they live, and then will be able to share new insights with friends and family, our most powerful sources of influence. The exponential increase in our influence will be key to rapidly and effectively enacting positive social change.