Helge Center

Civic Reflection Initiative

The Civic Reflection Initiative (CRI) is a network of students trained in the skill of leading reflective conversation as a fundamental dimension of leadership and service, and dedicated to fostering the practice of civic reflection among Valparaiso University students, as well as faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and students at other colleges and universities.

Civic Reflection Initiative Meeting


Discussions that use readings, images and video to engage people in deep, productive conversation about issues that impact their communities and work, as well as build bridges of understanding in the midst of differences.


The Center for Civic Reflection is a national resource center that began at Valparaiso University in 1998, but has since moved to Salisbury University. It supports significant reflection through training, publications, and group conversations. Check out the Center for Civic Reflection website for resources, discussion plans, publications, and more, or email civic.reflection@valpo.edu for specific inquiries.


The ability to facilitate such conversations is a key leadership skill for those who want to work well with others to serve the common good.

  • Can I be trained to become a CRI Facilitator? Yes! We will hold at least two facilitator training each year for students, faculty, staff, and community members to attend. The date for our next training will be announced soon for the fall. You can contact us at civic.reflection@valpo.edu with any questions.
  • Can CRI lead a discussion in my class or student organization? Yes! We will work with you to create a customized discussion plan. Contact us at civic.reflection@valpo.edu for details.
2020-2021 EVENTS
  • Facilitation Training: Every semester, the Civic Reflection Initiative trains participants in leading Civic Reflection discussions. This year, over 40 Valparaiso University students and faculty members attended.
  • The War on Education: Students from Professor Atchison’s Global Perspectives class presented a powerful video to explain how schools are affected by international war zones.
  • Talking with Family Amid Election Season: This panel discussion offered advice to students about navigating difficult conversation topics over Thanksgiving Break.
  • Sexual Assault Awareness and Facilitative Education (SAAFE): Facilitators used an art piece to learn about the bystander effect and suggest ways to be an ally during an emergency.
  • Martin Luther King Day: During the annual MLK Day luncheon, facilitators led an interactive game to illuminate the realities of poverty in America.
  • Alpha Phi Omega (APO): To celebrate Black History Month, Civic Reflection utilized excerpts from James Baldwin to discuss themes of power and influence.
  • Indy Reads and United Way of Porter County: These Indiana non-profit organizations reached out to Civic Reflection to host a dialogue about ethical and meaningful service in the world.
  • Alliance: Inspired by Alliance’s newsletter about gender identities, Civic Reflection played a spoken word poem to highlight how culture influences gender identity and expression.
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life: Valparaiso University’s sorority, Pi Beta Phi educated its members through reflective exercises on what it means to be a leader.
2021-2022 EVENTS
  • Schedule Forthcoming