We imagine a culture of “Civity” –people deliberately engaging in relationships of respect and empathy with others who are different. As Civity grows, a we/they mindset gives way to a we all belong mindset.
Working with partner organizations and institutions concerned with divide-based issues – improving life for immigrants/refugees, getting people out of poverty, providing better access to housing, improving public education, and other societal challenges.
Civity exists and we experience it, but it is currently inchoate. A transcendent vision that names and describes Civity helps people to envision, cherish, protect and nurture it. When individuals intentionally create Civity where they are, in their own place, Civity flourishes.
Civic networks – relationships between people in our society – determine the culture we have. Changing relationships between people in the networks ripple out and eventually offer a culture shift.
We help organizations doing important work in our community use the Civity concept – not to ignore differences, but to work across differences.
Malka is an independent consultant to philanthropy, nonprofits and governments. She brings to Civity over 30 years of experience with collaborative, cross-sector governance and civic engagement, and has worked on a variety of issues, including neighborhood revitalization, water and air quality, transportation, youth development, and public health.
Palma comes to Civity with first-person civic engagement experiences from working as a parent to enhance equity and quality in the public schools in Arlington, Virginia. She now integrates those experiences into her role as a professor of law, where she focuses on regional resilience; addressing systemic inequities; and the connection between civic health and robust democracy.
Malka Kopell and Palma Strand co-founded Civity, which arose from a series of conversations about civic engagement, equity, government, and public challenges that began informally almost a decade ago.