Civic Reflection

The humanities in action.

Civic Reflection

A reading and discussion program presented by Ohio Humanities

Community members frequently volunteer in high need areas, such as community development efforts, schools, churches, and social service organizations – wherever a set of hands can make a difference. Yet few organizations afford regular opportunities to reflect on the nature of the difference volunteers are making.

Civic Reflection brings individuals together to read texts or view works of art or film clips that prompt thoughtful dialogue about service, justice, and civic engagement. The practice of Civic Reflection results in a deeper understanding of the diversity within communities, the values inherent within public service activities, and personal service experiences.

Individual sessions last from one to two hours and are led by facilitators trained in the method, using carefully selected materials useful for open-ended, guided conversation.

Created by the Illinois Humanities Council in 2001, Civic Reflection began as a program designed for volunteers in the Chicago area. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, it has spread to humanities councils across the United States.

Ohio Humanities offers Civic Reflection sessions in communities around Ohio by invitation, and, in conjunction with ServeOhio, trains AmeriCorps program managers in the facilitation method through a special initiative called Justice Talking: The Meaning of Service.

For more information, contact program officer David Merkowitz at