Picture what it might take to heal the division we’re facing in the US. While the challenges seem immense, there are some powerful solutions that must, in fact, start small. It will take simple acts like rediscovering what we have in common, rekindling relationships with neighbors, and listening with humility to rehumanize one another.

Now picture the places in your community where this type of reconnection is possible. Where can you go to get outside of your bubble, to develop more “weak ties” that lead to stronger fibers in our social fabric?

Joining together with others in your community is the foundation for a stronger democracy — and the power of a simple invitation should not be underestimated.

Joining and Inviting

This is the first step to Spark Citizenship — a year-long project to equip more Americans (just like you!) as sparks of civic activity. Every month, you’ll dig into a timely theme and receive practical resources, inspiring examples, and grounded encouragement to not only embrace this civic mindset in yourself but also spark it in others. It’s an activating, community-building, and hope-filled antidote to the polarizing pull of the 2024 election.

Start here — 

Let’s begin with an invitation. Hear from Citizen University’s co-founder and CEO Eric Liu.

Your task this month — 

Join an activity or club in your community — and even better, invite a friend to come with you. It doesn’t have to be a big formal group, but something that gives you purpose, an outlet to connect, a sense of belonging. It could be a community garden, a group at your place of worship, or a family activity at the local community center. Your goal is to become more deeply embedded in your community — however you define it — and develop civic relationships. When we build our muscle of being together, it helps us imagine, commit to, and work together to make things better off for everyone.

Resource library — 

Over the month, we’ll be adding new ideas, tips, conversation prompts, inspiring stories, and other content to help you practice the civic skill of joining and inviting.

Three steps to building “civic relationships”

A venn diagram with the text, Where is the need? What am I good at? What brings me joy? What connections do I have? What power do I hold?Being part of a group, activity, or organization bigger than ourselves helps us feel belonging, purpose, and hope in the face of all the challenges our nation is experiencing today. Democracy isn’t meant to be done alone.

It starts with knowing more about ourselves before we can figure out how to show up for — and with — others. Use the three steps in this post to think through what it’d be like to join or start something — or invite others into what you’re already doing.

Explore steps two and three → 

The power of invitation

“I have realized the significance of structuring the invitation to ensure that neighbors feel valued and contribute to something meaningful.” Sindhu Dwarampudi is a Civic Saturday Fellow who has practiced the art of invitation. In her recent blog post, shows what’s possible when we weave connections among our neighbors.

Read her article →

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