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Mini-Retreat to Renew Community Builders: Habits for Inclusion & Overcoming Polarization in 2019

Tony Vento

Friday, January 25, 2019 from 12:45 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)

Mini-Retreat to Renew Community Builders: Habits for...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Pay online   more info Jan 24, 2019 $35.00 $3.77
Pay with $35 check for co-[payment   more info Jan 24, 2019 Free $0.00
Students or Neighbor Up members - co-pay online   more info Jan 24, 2019 $15.00 $2.55
Students or Neighbor Up members - co-pay $15 by check   more info Jan 24, 2019 Free $0.00
Requesting partial or full scholarship
Contact Tony Vento for this simple process. Your space is not reserved until you complete this simple process with him, so please don't delay., or 216-313-0546
Jan 24, 2019 Free $0.00

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Event Details

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Right Where You Are: Strengthening Your Habits for Inclusion, Transforming Polarization & Healing Democracy

What: Get away – nearby – for an afternoon of renewal, reflection, and relaxation, along with others convened by Neighborhood Connections and the Neighbor Up Network (NUP).

Who's tired of the hate-mongering and growing divisions in our communities at so many levels? Come take a renewing break as we begin the new year.

  • Back by popular demand: repeated, updated and expanded! A short experience, rooted in the same topic and successful approach used in our over-enrolled mini-retreat November 3, right before the elections. Same approach used in both over-enrolled weekend-long retreats last winter and in the May 2018 Mini-Retreat, “Courage to Build Community.”

Who? Anyone tired of the growing polarization in our neighborhoods, families, communities, and workplaces. Those engaged in community building – we who give so much to others, whether we are paid or not - may want to recharge ourselves in these challenging times. We have room for 22 folks attracted to community network building and its relationship-centered approach to shared power.

  • Whether or not you have previous experience with this approach, whether or not you are part of the Neighbor Up Network, you are welcome – no prior experience is necessary.

When? Friday, January 25. Doors open 11:45 with lunch included before the program. Program begins 12:45 pm sharp to 5pm. Optional Happy Hour afterwards nearby.

Where? The accessible offices of Neighborhood Connections, Suite 310, 5000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland 44103 (above the Agora with free parking in back, entered from Prospect Ave). Then if you'd like, continue the conversations nearby at Goldhorn Brewery over an optional Happy Hour: 1361 E 55th St, Cleveland, OH 44103. (5 minute drive)

Why? Rosa Parks, MLK, Malcom X, Gandhi, and Mandela learned to tap their inner power for outer change; how about you? Deepen your power and skills for inclusion or to help transform polarization.

Within us is a yearning for something better than divisiveness, toxicity, passivity, powerlessness, and selling our democratic inheritance to the highest bidder. Within us is the courage to pursue that yearning, to hold life’s tensions consciously, faithfully, and well, until they break us open. The broken-open heart is a source of power as well as compassion—the power to bring down whatever diminishes us and raise up whatever serves us well.

We can access and deploy that power by doing what every great social movement has done: put time, skill, and energy into the education and mobilization of the powers of the heart. As history consistently demonstrates, heart talk can yield actions just as practical as those driven by conventional forms of power. (Habits of the Heart for Healing Democracy, Parker J Palmer)

How does this mini-retreat work? In large-group, small-group, and solitary settings, “the heart of the community builder” is invited and encouraged to renew, making use of insights from poets, storytellers, seasonal metaphors, various wisdom traditions, personal stories, and reflections on community building practice. This is not a planning “retreat” where you leave with more responsibilities. Instead it’s a respite. Dress causally. We use the Circle of Trust approach, but you don’t need any familiarity with it beforehand. To learn more in advance visit


  • $15 co-payment for students and Neighbor Up Network (NUP) members coming on their own.
  • $35 co-payment for those who are coming from institutions (CDCs, foundations, public or private sector)

Underwriting by Neighborhood Connections already discounts your payment from the real cost of $60/person. Scholarships (partial and full) and further financial arrangements are available. Don’t let finances keep you away.

Questions? Contact Tony Vento, 216-313-0546 or

"Anyone who permits another to determine the quality of his inner life gives into the hands of the other the keys to his destiny.” 
― Howard Thurman

Participants on November 3 included this feedback, and encouraged a repeat:

“Provocative, thought provoking, energizing, engaging.”  "It was just a few hours!"

“I love that I was not pressured to speak when I didn’t know what my words were.”

“The premise – building community – and its distinctions = huge value.”

Have questions about Mini-Retreat to Renew Community Builders: Habits for Inclusion & Overcoming Polarization in 2019? Contact Tony Vento

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When & Where

Neighborhood Connections office
Suite 310, 5000 Euclid Avenue (above the Agora)
Cleveland, Ohio 44103

Friday, January 25, 2019 from 12:45 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)

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Tony Vento

Tony Vento, of Purpose Matters, knows in his very soul the power of people coming together in respectful small circles, linked with other circles, for renewing and transforming ourselves, our workplaces, and our communities. Tony trained with Parker Palmer in facilitating reflective practices for renewal, vocation and leadership. He has designed and led over 60 retreats in the past 10 years.

An independent consultant, facilitator and trainer afflilated with the Center for Courage & Renewal and certified by the Flourishing Leadership Institute, Tony is known for convening transformational conversations that lead to renewal and action, bringing people together respectfully from across differences in groups of all types and sizes.  "Reconnecting who we are with what we do" at the interior and organizational level, Tony aligns purpose-centered outcomes and processes.

Previously Tony served Case Western Reserve University as President of the InterReligious Council and Director of the Newman Campus Ministry.  He also served as Pax Christi USA’s National Program Director, Coordinator of the Cleveland InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF), and Program Director for InterAct Cleveland, the regional multifaith and multiracial coalition (now of blessed memory).

His education includes Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and graduate studies in Theology and Social Ethics at St. Michaels/University of Toronto, including study in Italy and Peru.  Recipient of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award in 1997 from the Interchurch Council of Greater Cleveland, Tony was also named among “Twenty People to Watch in the Twenty-First Century” by Northern Ohio Live magazine.

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