What is the Institute on the Common Good? WhatWe DoOurMissionHistoryICGStaffDeepeningOur Identity Since 1998, the Institute on the Common Good at Regis University has dedicated itself to programs aimed at changing the world one dialogue at a time. We operate under the simple theory that through dialogue and trust building, major social change can occur. We are founded on the principles of Catholic social teaching. We work to create spaces where true dialogue can happen, whether it’s between neighbors struggling to deal with homelessness in their midst, local leaders of religions in conflict around the world or members of society seeking answers to the dilemma of immigration. We call it Transformational Dialogue. Through it all, we promote the concept of the common good. We serve as a public resource on community dialogue, promote academic discourse on topics related to dialogue and encourage communal discernment in the traditions of Quaker and Ignatian Spirituality. Unlike institutes that focus solely on research and analysis, the Institute is unique in that it actively partners with groups engaged in community life. We assert the dignity and social nature of the human person. Therefore, every voice is welcome around Dialogue. Discernment. Democratic Deliberation. Together, these are the concepts that form the foundation of the mission of the Institute on the Common Good. But what exactly do we mean by these words? At their center, they are the tools we use to help resolve community issues, building trust and strong relationships in order to find innovative solutions to challenges. Used together, they can help us uncover answers that truly lead us to the common good. All reflect the Roman Catholic and Jesuit heritage of Regis University and the Institute. Depending on the nature of a project, we may use one or all of these tools on any given day. The Institute does not identify a specific set of techniques or steps for its work, but rather attempts to establish a climate within which the dialogue – or conversation, discernment – or seeking God’s will, and deliberation – or intentional consideration, happen. This is called the “space” or “tone” of the group and embodies the underlying thinking and feelings as well as the group’s intentions and perceptions. Dialogue is at the core of major social change. The Institute was founded on the conviction that key issues can be resolved and societal changes can occur if people speak with one another honestly and respectfully. Called transformational dialogue, for us it comes from roots deep within the philosophy of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, of not just speaking but listening, and together bringing about change. We continue to build on these roots using some of the latest research in the emerging field of dialogue. The idea of communal discernment, the ability to deliberate and discuss where to go as a community, was a gift from St. Ignatius. This tool used as a way for discerning the will of God for the community has been a mark of Jesuit spirituality over the centuries. This style of discernment has long sought “a unity achieved in an atmosphere of prayerful peace.” Discernment is a tool primarily used with spiritual and faith-based communities who seek to draw on their spiritual commitments to discern the will of the Spirit within the group. Democratic deliberation is used primarily by civic groups as they seek to interweave the place of the individual and the place of common good in their shared community life. Sometimes these places may seem to be divergent, but through deliberation a balance can usually be found. If you or your organization would like the Institute to facilitate a private forum, please fill out the Forum Request Form. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuit Experience Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, wrote his Spiritual Exercises to guide the members of the Society of Jesus. This framework allows ICG facilitators and staff to place themselves in a mindset that enables them to see the group and issues before them with greater openness and awareness. St. Ignatius wrote that the work of the members of the Society should not be for their own benefit, but always be done for the greater good of the community of God and for the greater glory of the Creator. The work was thus other centered and recognized that we are part of something greater then our individual selves. It also realized, however, that each individual is a unique manifestation of the divine and so each person’s approach must be honored by recognizing and understanding that uniqueness. The hallmarks of this philosophy can be summarized in three key points: finding God in all things; right intentions, or the assumption that each person operates from a place of good purpose; and holy indifference, that we are will to change or be transformed by others. The Institute also is heavily influenced by following the tradition of Catholic social teaching. Within Catholic Social teaching are four key concepts that mark this particular approach. These provide the core rationale for why we do the work that we do. Human Dignity: The inherent belief in the dignity of the human person. Each person is recognized as being made in the image of God. Common Good and Community: The human person is both sacred and social, growing and achieving fulfillment only in community. Subsidiarity and Participation: Individuals have a right to fully participate in decisions made on issues relevant to them, and giving a voice to the most vulnerable members of society is a key moral duty. Rights and Responsibilities: Society can only function if the fullest level of human rights are recognized and members recognize their rights and well as their responsibilities to their own welfare and the welfare of others. The Institute on the Common Good was established in 1998 by Regis University President Father Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., based on his conviction that important issues can be resolved and societal changes can occur if people gather together and speak honestly with one another. His conviction comes from the heart of Catholic social teaching, the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, and his own experiences with the power of dialogue between people who come to the table with diverse perspectives to engage one another around civic and social issues. While working for America, a Jesuit Catholic weekly magazine, Father Sheeran was on hand when the New York president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the head of the local chapter of the Urban League, the New York area vice president of General Motors, and other business and labor leaders met in a conference room at the magazine’s New York City offices. It was the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the groups were suspicious of one another. But after informal conversation in that neutral, safe location, they were able to create a set of priorities that helped convince Civil Rights leaders that New York business and labor leaders were committed to working together. Later that year when Newark, New Jersey, erupted in flames in response to labor and race disputes, New York City did not. Twenty years later, Father Sheeran again saw how bringing people together could make a real difference. In 1993, he hosted the first meeting between Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton when World Youth Day took place in Denver. These two world leaders had divergent opinions on an array of issues, including abortion, economic policies and the obligations of industrialized nations toward poor nations. He expected their private conversation would be brief, but instead they conversed for 90 minutes and developed a way the Vatican could serve as a channel for providing U.S. relief into Muslsim countries when needed. They also explored how the Pope could nudge the Croatians, the majority of whom are Roman Catholic, toward peace in the former Yugoslavia. While at Regis University, the pope and the president found common ground and were able to make significant strides in resolving two international problems. From these and other experiences, Father Sheeran began to develop the idea of inviting people of diverse viewpoints to Regis University where they would find a neutral environment to discuss issues of great social import. During the 1997-98 academic year, he appointed Father Richard Dunphy, S.J., as the Institute’s first director. Under Father Dunphy’s direction, programming began the next year. In 2001, Dr. Paul Alexander, director of the Master of Nonprofit Management Master’s degree at Regis University, took over as director, a role he continues today. Much of the work accomplished by the Institute in the last decade has been behind the scenes by design, giving ownership to the stakeholders and members of the community who met with one another under the guidance of Institute staff to resolve a range of issues. The Institute on the Common Good has helped facilitated dialogues that resulted in understanding and change on homelessness in the Capitol Hills Neighborhood of Denver, health care, immigration issues in the city and peer mediation programs in the Denver Public Schools. One of our first successes came in 1999, when the Institute facilitated a private forum on criminal justice for the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Domestic Policy, the results of which were included in the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Statement on Criminal Justice. Speakers Perhaps our most visible work comes from the internationally known speakers we invite to the Regis University campus, most notably Nobel Peace Prize recipients. One of the first guests of the Institute was Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in November 1998, following in the footsteps of Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, who became the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak on the Regis University campus, and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Since 1998, we have upheld this tradition and continue to invite Nobel Peace Laureates and other influential speakers to visit the Denver community. We welcomed, among others, Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel in 2001, former President of Poland Lech Walesa in 2003, and most recently, David Trimble of Northern Ireland in 2006. Altogether, 13 Nobel Peace Prize recipients have visited Regis University since 1996. We invite others to speak as well, with the intention that the intellectual discourse and emotional response to the talks will find an outlet through further conversations and dialogue among the participants. Our logo Our logo is formed by the union of the letters ICG. The C and G combine to form a Mandorla or “Vesica Piscis,” which is an ancient symbol of two circles coming together, symbolizing the interactions and interdependence of opposing worlds and forces. A flame tops the letter I, forming a torch to symbolize the new learning, wisdom and knowledge that emerge from the work of the Institute. Paul Alexander, Ph.D., Director Paul Alexander is Director of the Institute on the Common Good at Regis University. He has extensive experience in facilitating community dialogue and collaborative processes and teaches in both the CPS School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Regis College Departments of Religious Studies and Peace and Justice. He served for eight years as the Degree Chair for the Master of Nonprofit Management Program (MNM) at Regis and has over twenty years experience in the nonprofit sector. He has traveled extensively and lived and worked in Spain and Latin America. Alexander serves on the boards of Advocates for Younger Generations, Colorado Campus Compact, the Colorado Nonprofit Loan Fund, and the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. He also serves as an advisor to Governor Hickenlooper on public engagement for statewide public policy development. He has a BA from Williams College, an MA in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Community Dialogue from the Union Institute and University. Email 303-458-4336 Fredricka Brown, Operations Coordinator Fredricka J. Brown is operations coordinator for the Institute on the Common Good, where her responsibilities include the direction, continuity and image of the office and program services. She also serves as liaison between the ICG and key University management, and community, business and religious organizations; coordinates budgetary and fiscal activities of the ICG and its network of supported programs; and coordinates ICG events. Previously, Fredricka was administrative coordinator for the Office of Public Affairs at Regis, where she assisted in orchestrating the visits of several Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and the president of Ireland, worked as the primary researcher of University statistical information for surveys and served as the University’s chair for its annual United Way Campaign, among other duties. She is pursuing a degree in Communication from Regis University, when she’s not busy with her husband and their two daughters. She’s an active community volunteer, previously serving on the board of the Pomona High School Band, and with the Wheat Ridge High School girls swim team and Saints Peter and Paul School. Email, 303-458-4967 ICG Facilitators Leilani Rashida Henry Leilani Rashida Henry, founder of Being and Living Enterprises, is a pioneer in bringing innovative strategies to organization transformation. She has facilitated hundreds of workplace changes and implemented redesign efforts that have resulted in cost savings for organizations in the millions of dollars. Leilani is known for her use of inventive strategies such as multi-sensory dialogue. Her clients include Rockefeller, CU Boulder, Denver Water, Kraft Foods and Regis University. She holds a master’s degree in Education from St. Thomas University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Spelman College. Her lifetime experience in the performing arts is integrated into her unique approach to innovation, leadership and performance. Albert W. Starkey Al Starkey is a personal and organizational development consultant offering services designed to encourage and enable individuals and small groups to achieve creative and sustained change in their lives. His work is focused in the area of renewal and growth through personal guidance and small group process. Mr. Starkey has combined over 20 years of experience as an executive and an independent consultant with over 10 years of training and experience in the fields of Jungian and organizational psychology and 8 years as a spiritual director to create his unique practice. He has been an innovator in the successful application of the principles of Jungian thought and Ignatian Spirituality to the fields of individual and group development, particularly in the areas of leadership, deep conflict spiritual development and transition issues associated with rapid change and personal growth. Al holds a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Hartford, six years of post graduate training in Jungian Psychology through the Denver Jung Society and IAAP, a certificate in Spiritual direction from the Mercy Center in Colorado Springs and over 80 hours of training in Ignatian Spirituality at the Jesuit Institute in Rome, Italy. Rebecca Lobel As a Denver native, Rebecca Lobel is dedicated to improving relationships between the diverse religious communities that thrive in Colorado. Coming from a Jewish background, she believes that learning from others can help to understand your own place in the world, and partnerships with people from diverse backgrounds can be a strong force for increasing understanding and implementing change. Rebecca has a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Religion from Hampshire College and a master’s in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Esther Ray Mills, Ph.D. Esther Ray Mills has had a distinguished career in Catholic higher education at universities sponsored by the Society of Jesus and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She has held positions as faculty member, undergraduate and doctoral advisor, program director, and dean and vice presidential-level administrator in both academic and student affairs. Her extensive consulting practice has included contracts with community colleges, nonprofit organizations, hospitals, banks, school districts and governmental agencies. Her expertise encompasses planning and implementation, program evaluation, communication strategies, organizational design, and marketing strategies. She holds a doctorate in communication from the University of Washington and a baccalaureate degree in communication from Whitworth College. Susan D. Starkey Susan D. Starkey is an organizational development consultant offering services to encourage and enable individuals, small groups and organizations to develop meaningful work environments and manage change creatively, through dialogue and deliberation. She specializes in the areas of organizational effectiveness, cultural change and leadership development. She also is manager of employee and organizational development at Gambro BCT in Lakewood, and serves as an affiliate faculty member at Regis University. She holds a master’s degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Colorado and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan. ICG Fellows Steve Burkholder Steve Burkholder is the principal of the A & S Group, a consulting and marketing organization. He is a senior fellow of the Institute on the Common Good at Regis University. He is the former executive director of Colorado’s Future, a private non-profit, non-partisan group organized to “Build a Better Colorado”. He was the mayor of Lakewood, Colorado’s fourth largest city from 1999 to 2007. During those years, his city experienced sustainable growth of $1.6 billion with another $1.5 billion in process. Burkholder has participated in or facilitated numerous local, national and international workshops on leadership development, economic development, urban design, tax policy, ethics, inclusiveness and community governance. In the business community, he spent over 30 years in the retail and wholesale sectors. He has served on boards of directors for both private and public institutions. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He grew up in metro Denver and moved to Lakewood in 1963. Steve and his wife Anne have been married 45 years, have two grown children, and three grandchildren. Leilani Rashida Henry Leilani Rashida Henry, M.A. and Licensed Educational Kinesiologist, is a recognized thought-leader for workplace creativity, performance and organization development. She is Founder and Chief Excellence Officer of Being & Living Enterprises, LTD. www.beingandliving.com. Leilani is cited in several national publications and organizations such as the Fetzer Institute and new visions in business. Fast Company identified Ms. Henry as one of their RealTime Models and Mentors. Leilani is Founder and Director of National Playback Theatre. Her lifetime experience in musical theater and professional dance is integrated into her unique approach to work-life balance, leadership and learning. Ms. Henry is also George Gibbs’s daughter, one of the first African Americans to sail and set foot on Antarctica with Admiral Richard E. Byrd. She is publishing her father’s journals and writing a book about his experiences. She was a Fellow for her work in multidimensional dialogue. During her time with Regis, she finalized her product called Brain Jewels TM. It is a transformation dialogue tool that uses rich, visual images to help individuals and organizations access their intuition and stories for better choices and changes. For almost 15 years, ICG has been serving communities and organizations dedicated to the common good by providing a safe and effective space for dialogue, communal discernment and public deliberation. More than ever before, we are observing our society and its institutions grappling with increasingly complex and often, seemingly, irreconcilable issues in an environment of escalating polarization and divisiveness. At the same time, we are experiencing a pressing desire on the part of many groups to effectively, meaningfully and courageously meet these challenges in more innovative and creative ways. As such, ICG has discerned a need to both deepen and broaden its services as a way of addressing these trends and desires in our culture. At the core of this expanded service is a value and belief that asserts effective, sustained and meaningful change happens when we are becoming who we are, who we were created to be, whether that is a community, an organization, a group or an individual, and that it is possible to align and find synergy between and among these layers within a system. Our belief goes on to say that this identity, or alignment of identities, is in fact, an expression of the common good and how we might become more fully engaged citizens of the world. And so, to serve the common good, we must explore together: how and who I and we are becoming discovering what it is that is trying to live through me and us what it is that I and we aspire to, which is what I and we are willing to be in service to This forms the basis for ICG’s integrated approach to growing, learning, serving and performing. It offers a way of maximizing community and organizational potential as well as sustained, transformational change by cultivating the interplay of specialness and commonness that exists in and between a group and its individual members. Thus, the Institute has expanded its services to include a simultaneous offering of individual development and coaching to our clients’ key members as we also continue our work with their groups and communities. To learn more, please view the Deeping Our Identity and contact: Albert W. Starkey, M.S. or the Institute on the Common Good.