Adam Davis encourages groups to reflect more to build better communities

June 4, 2012

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Adam Davis has an idea of how you can start to see your co-workers in a different light. Rather than just seeing your colleague as "the jerk down the hall" you can start to see him more as a partner in a shared mission. It's all part of building community and strengthening democracy. The process of reaching this takes work but, more importantly, it takes reflection.


Davis is Director of the Project on Civic Reflection. Using text, images and conversation, the Project works with groups to achieve three goals: Clarity, Community and Commitment. The process of achieving these goals centers around giving the group an object that sparks reaction. Davis says the object has to be complicated enough to illicit several different interpretations, but simple enough that it's not inaccessible to the participants. These can be stories, poems or photographs, for example. Davis has gathered some of these discussion starters in the collection Taking Action: A Reader. Davis edited that book, as well as Hearing the Call across Traditions, and co-edited The Civically Engaged Reader.

Adam Davis joined Steve Edwards on Afternoon Shift to explain why we all need to take the time to reflect, and how this process can help us become more civically involved.