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Center for Engaging Community

John Kesler is my patner in work with the Center for Engaging Community. He is a man of great vision. He attracts incredible people around him. He is very humble. And a great catalyzer of efforts. Together we co-direct the Center.

Last week, John and I were checking-in. Projects. Imaginations. Plans. A central point of our efforts is an initiative called Culture of Connection. We launched this effort in many ways with a large community event last spring. Today it lives in many people, committees, and community relations.

I wanted to name this initiative because last week John and I had one of those moments where we revisited purpose and a few agreements. We weren’t trying to per se; but it became clear that in our phone conversation, that is what was happening. These all spoke to me…

  • Bring capacity of conversation
  • When we find competence and passion, help to catalyze the self-organizationt that manifests flourishing community.
  • We can look through multiple lenses.
  • Be a trusted neutral convenor, not an advocate.
  • Grassroots community engagement.

This also spoke to me, three anchors. We support flourishing community by…

  1. Convening, training, connecting, practicing in conversation.
  2. Supporting technology that connects, both in content and social community (this a project that we are just starting to imagine)
  3. Grounding our work in specific domains — currently feeling the biggest need in a bipartisan legislative dialogue project, and, and exploration into supporting and integrating immigrant and refugee communities in the Salt Lake Valley.
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