The Civil Conversations Project seeks to nurture and model the virtues that lead to social healing and to accompany the transformative work that inspires new ways of being in community with one another.
The late historian and author — and my mentor — Vincent Harding often explained that for him the expression “Civil Rights Movement” felt like too narrow a term to adequately describe the movement in which he and others risked and sometimes gave their lives. Freedom was the goal. Civil rights were an essential component of the freedom that was sought, but the true struggle wasn’t simply about changing laws, it was about changing people and transforming the consciousness of a nation that could abide something as dehumanizing as Jim Crow segregation.
The Civil Conversations Project (CCP) is concerned with our common life, and it is concerned with fostering the kind of environment where our common life is transformed into beloved community. In order for us to achieve a healthy participatory democracy, and in order for us to recover the sense of our common humanity that must lie at the core of our civic life, we have to understand each other with greater depth and speak to each other with greater care. CCP seeks to nurture and model the virtues that lead to social healing and accompany the transformative work that inspires new ways of being in community with one another. We seek to do these things while also modeling and supporting conversations that enable us to do the difficult moral wrestling that this moment demands.