ICOVA 2012 – CHICAGO, IL Yangyang Zong, Program Manager, Project on Civic Reflection How do I engage my volunteers more deeply? How do I provide meaningful experiences that sustain my volunteers? How do I help my volunteer administrators to grow personally and professionally? What is Civic Reflection? Sample Discussion Benefits and Integration Project on Civic Reflection Established in 1998 at Valparaiso University Founding support from Lilly Endowment Offices in Chicago and Valparaiso, IN Our Mission: To deepen understanding, build community, and strengthen commitment by helping people think and talk together about the meaning of the good work they do in the world. We do this through the practice of reflective discussion. What We Do ◦ Lead reflective discussions ◦ Train facilitators ◦ Consult and coach reflection and dialogue programming ◦ Develop resources ◦ Make the case for reflection and dialogue A practice of reflective discussion that helps people think and talk across difference about their identities, communities, and commitments. 3 Elements ◦ A group of people ◦ A shared civic activity (i.e. volunteering, service, teaching, nonprofit work, etc.) ◦ A reading, image, or video Civic Life Scholarly Civic Presentation Dialogue Civic Reflection Participants Readings Reading Group Service and Volunteerism Education Arts and Culture Healthcare and Social Services Faith and Interfaith Philanthropy Board members and volunteers at the Indian American Heritage Center Illinois Campus Compact – Students in Service Maryland Humanities Council Community Discussion at WBEZ CLARITY COMMUNITY COMMITMENT Increases understanding of our own values and ways of seeing the world Improves relationships with colleagues and with those we serve Sustains engagement and increases morale Write down one question that you have moving forward about your own work or service. Civic Engagement ◦ Deeper understanding of one’s and others’ own purpose and motivation ◦ Increased understanding of the complexities of civic work Community Building/Development ◦ Stronger sense of connection, belonging and trust ◦ Create community among volunteers -> greater participation level Retention and Sustainability ◦ Improved morale ◦ Deepened commitment ◦ Improved relationships and stronger sense of connection to colleagues and communities served All above… Skill Building ◦ Facilitation and dialogue skills ◦ Improved interpersonal communication ◦ Improved listening skills Leadership Development ◦ Stronger collaboration skills and ability to develop, sustain, and support relationships with others ◦ Increased understanding of diverse perspectives and ability to work across differences ◦ Stronger strategic capacities – asking the “why”s Make the time – be intentional Focus on integration ◦ Existing volunteering activities ◦ Monthly meetings, Service Days ◦ Flexible format – 15-45 minutes Monthly discussion among staff ◦ 6 staff members trained through Facilitation Training in 2012 Discussion between volunteers and clients ◦ 26 volunteers and clients at the St. Leonard’s House Discussion among volunteer ◦ Service Day www.civicreflection.org Publications: ◦ Taking Action (Great Books Foundation, 2012) ◦ The Civically Engaged Reader (Great Books Foundation, 2009) People – staff at the PCR, a nation-wide network of facilitators Open-call facilitation training workshops 3-4 times a year in Chicago October 18-19, 2012 – downtown Chicago January 24-25, 2013 – downtown Chicago Q&A Session Thank you!