Institute for Strengthening Communities

The institute provides a multi-tiered approach to strengthen citizens' abilities to address community issues through democratic processes, restorative practices, and civic engagement.

Our latest institute is designed for school communities. With the goal of rejuvenating our democracy, the institute is designed to increase educator capacity to engage students and the broader community in public decision-making and civic action. We're seeking teams comprised of at least two classroom teachers, a building leader, a central office leader, and a school board member. Together, they'll embark on a supported journey to bring democratic practices to their schools and local communities.

Throughout the institute, teams will be supported as they create spaces in classrooms, buildings, and school districts for community members to have a greater voice in shaping their collective future. Institute staff will support school teams as they work through the entire deliberation process, culminating with a deliberation in their community around the purpose of public education.

Objectives of the institute

  • Engaging classrooms, schools, school districts and the communities they serve in substantive discussions, deliberative choice-work, and restorative and democratic practices as a form of public decision-making
  • Developing the dispositions of citizenship necessary for democracy through civic engagement that empowers community members to take a hand in shaping their collective future
  • Improving relationships in communities


Amy Bloom

Marc Kruman