The Center for Reflective Community Practice at
MIT designs and implements projects which build
the capacity of
practitioner and community-centered cross sector teams
to improve the lives of those least served by our society.
Our projects support the development and use of
knowledge embedded in marginalized communities
to build social capital, improve community practice, and inform policy.
CRCP designs structures for creative alliances and applies
tools based on reflective practice, group dynamics,
cultural psychology, organizational learning, team-based work,
and participatory design process to disrupt "business as usual"
ways of working. The goal is to produce outcomes and solutions
that emerge from the collective genius of groups that have
deeply and thoroughly engaged the inventiveness and knowledge
of every individual involved.
We do this by supporting creativity, inquiry, and collaboration
among diverse groups convened in response to some of modern
society's most complicated questions: How can we build democratic participation at the community level while confronting issues of race and racial inequity?
How can technology be used to support efforts to build healthier communities?
In what ways can community, government, philanthropy, and corporations work together effectively to produce healthier communities?
What roles do culture and stories play in empowering struggling communities?
We believe that diverse groups that capitalize on the complexity of
each member's experience are capable of forging a wider range of
creative, effective solutions to social justice problems. Therefore,
CRCP develops processes to support groups that are as diverse as
possible in collaborating creatively toward a common purpose.
Since 1998, from adaptations of GIS tools to better
fit community practice, to focused learning initiatives
producing critical knowledge about the role of race
and culture in building democracy,
have demonstrated that this approach can result in
individual and community transformation, and
substantive social change. We have only begun to see
what can happen when diverse groups create solutions
for social change.