In a time when real communication seems elusive, the WV Center for Civic Life stands out by helping people in communities listen, talk, and act together.
The Center for Civic Life’s What’s Next, WV initiative is a process that helps us do just this—a series of public conversations and action planning sessions that encourage communities to think through hard questions together.
We hope you can join us for our next free workshop in Summersville on July 25. This workshop is for people who are interested in bringing What’s Next to their area.
Those who come to our workshops learn how to reach out to involve new people and ideas, develop local coalitions, facilitate productive conversations, and move from dialogue to action.
Local organizers of What’s Next initiatives reach out to welcome people from across their communities to come together—so that a wide range of ideas and perspectives are considered. Citizens are asked to talk, think, and act based on their own ideas.
The questions are deceptively simple: Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How do we get there? But the implications of those questions are much more complicated. How do we create a community that works for everyone? What would it look like if our community were thriving? What difficult decisions do we need to work through together?
In responding to these questions, citizens build the civic capacity of their community—that is, the ability they have to talk to one another about tough subjects.
The WV Center for Civic Life and its partners (including the Hub) launched the What’s Next, WV initiative in 2014, but this year, we are focusing our efforts in communities that were affected by last year’s devastating floods. Many communities, such as the Meadow River Valley in Greenbrier County, believe that recovery from the flooding has provided a moment of opportunity to connect with each other. They, among other places, are using What’s Next to develop their ability to really listen to each other, and think, talk, and act on what they want their community to look like.