Transformed relationships around the world


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Constructive relationships are the keys to peaceful democratic, social, economic, and political development. Some things only governments can do – provide security, make and enforce law, and fund major programs. But only citizens can transform conflictual human relationships, modify human behavior and change political culture.

Columbus, Indiana:

The Columbus Indiana Community Area Sustained Dialogue, of which Phil Stewart is a co-chairman, now completing two full years of monthly sessions, focuses its work on identifying and addressing obstacles to and creating opportunities for economically challenged citizens to achieve self-sufficiency – economically, socially and emotionally. The dialogue has created a safe space that regularly attracts Columbus area residents from all sectors of the community. Outcomes include a shifting from the concept of “client” to “citizen,” from humiliation to dignity for those who struggle, as well as concrete actions such as the development of a comprehensive program to ensure those ready to work have reliable transportation. More broadly, participants note that their dialogue continues to have a transformative impact on the local political climate, moving from confrontation to listening, and from listening to dialogue.

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