Social Trust and Civic Healing

Bridging What Divides Us – Finding Common Ground

Social Trust and Civic Healing
“America is fractured and living a quiet crisis of disconnection. We have lost our trust in each other and our institutions. Divided, we face uncertainty, social turmoil, and political gridlock. Yet, within every community lies an answer.” -David Brooks
Every community and all things in it must be continuously renewed and reinvented.

Especially today. Our society is divided. There is a sense that people with differing perspectives cannot find common ground and that the very institutions that are meant to serve us no longer work.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has joined a large and rapidly growing grassroots movement to help rebuild social trust across America. Our governments, businesses and communities can only function when people trust each other and act in concert together.

Every individual and institution of renewal has a role to play in the civic healing of our country. We hope you join us in this national effort to help bridge the partisan divide, and in the process, recall our shared humanity and the many values we hold in common.

Elevate NOVA Book Circle

Elevate NOVA Book Circle
In 2023, the Community Foundation launched the Elevate NOVA Book Circle through which we were introduced to the work of Mónica Guzmán and her recently published book, “I Never Thought of it That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times.” The book is an excellent tool that offers a thoughtful process for how good citizens in tough times can help bridge what divides us. Her unique formula for civic healing got us all thinking about how deeper listening and curiosity can bridge gaps in understanding, especially when we disagree.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is pleased to announce the 2024 Elevate Nova Book Circle selection by David Brooks, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. David Brooks will kick-off this year’s program at our signature Shape of the Region Conference co-hosted with 19 regional partners representing all sectors and reflecting the diversity of our region to tackle the issue of broken social trust that has left Americans divided, lonely, and in social gridlock.

REGISTER FOR THE 2024 BOOK CIRCLE TODAY

In "How to Know a Person," David Brooks explores the vital skill essential for healthy relationships and communities—the ability to deeply see and make others feel seen. Despite its significance, this skill is often overlooked, leaving individuals feeling invisible. Brooks addresses this gap by posing essential questions about the attention and conversations needed to genuinely understand someone, drawing insights from psychology, neuroscience, theater, philosophy, history, and education.

About the Book

Guided by curiosity and a commitment to personal growth, Brooks presents a hopeful and integrated approach to human connection. The book encourages readers to be more empathetic, emphasizing the transformative power of truly seeing others and the joy that comes from being authentically understood. "How to Know a Person" serves as a beacon for those seeking meaningful connections and a deeper understanding of themselves and those around them in a society marked by fragmentation and misperception.


About Elevate NOVA

Elevate NOVA is a new initiative at the Community Foundation to help advance the 4 pillars of our mission and work: social and economic mobility, racial justice and equity, inclusive systems of economic growth, and community resilience.

2024 Shape of the Region Conference

2024 Shape of the Region Conference
We are excited to announce that David Brooks, author and op-ed columnist with the New York Times, will keynote the Community Foundation’s 7th annual Shape of the Region Conference on February 9, 2024. The theme of the event is Social Trust and Civic Healing. Frederick J. Riley, the Executive Director of Aspen Institute's “Weave: The Social Fabric Project”, will also join us to highlight how Weave helps tackle the problem of broken social trust that has left Americans divided, lonely, and in social gridlock.

There is no one answer to this complex issue, but David, Frederick, and Weave will certainly serve to inspire better ways to connect, support, and invest in local leaders that step up to weave a new, inclusive social fabric, wherever they may live.
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Share Your Ideas With Us!

Share Your Ideas With Us!
Do you have ideas for rebuilding trust and understanding in your neighborhood and community?  We want to hear from you!
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Donate to the Community Leadership Fund

Donate to the Community Leadership Fund
The Community Leadership Fund makes possible the Community Foundation’s work to build social trust across our region. Help us continue this important work.
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