Democracy from the Inside Out

Author Parker J. Palmer of the Center for Courage & Renewal kicks off a series of conversations about “doing democracy from the inside out.” Thousands join the first event online from hundreds of convening sites around the world.


Recording Available




Center for Courage & Renewal


On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, Parker J. Palmer of the Center for Courage & Renewal kicked off a series of conversations about “doing democracy from the inside out.” Produced live by LearningTimes from Madison, Wisconsin, with a small in-person audience, Palmer gave a thirty-minute talk about some key issues in American democracy and was then be joined by conversation partners who see these issues from different vantage points. The live webcast lasted one hour and a recording is now available .

To view the recording, please click the button below:

 Palmer writes:

“For thirty-five years, my writing has been driven by the desire to contribute to meaningful conversations around important topics, conversations that might lead to personal and social transformation. Never has that motivation been stronger than with my new book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. The book was developed in collaboration with my colleagues at the Center for Courage & Renewal, and for more than a decade, conversations in support of transformation have been the Center’s stock-in-trade.

“We invite you to gather a group of family, friends, neighbors, parishioners, colleagues, etc., to watch the webcast and then stay on for a while for a discussion. You do not need to read my new book to participate. The webcast will include an array of topics and focused questions to help participants explore their own civic values, share their concerns about our current political climate, and imagine human-scale things they can do to help reweave the civic fabric in their own communities. Following this October 11 event, the Center for Courage & Renewal will provide additional materials and opportunities to help interested people continue the conversation.

“In Healing the Heart of Democracy, I discuss five “habits of the heart” that we need to cultivate in our lives as citizens:

• An understanding that we are all in this together
• An appreciation of the value of ‘‘otherness’’
• An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways
• A sense of personal voice and agency
• A capacity to create community

“Those habits of the heart—and the venues of local life in which they are formed—constitute democracy’s infrastructure which, like our physical infrastructure, is in serious disrepair. We believe that our approach can help restore it. We also believe that the thousands of people who have been through the Center’s programs can help by exercising leadership in some of those “habit-forming” venues of local life: the family, the neighborhood, classrooms, congregations, and workplaces of many sorts.

“A recording of the event is available. Watch the webcast archive — let the conversation and the restoration project begin!”

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