The Practice of Belonging: Six Lessons from Vibrant Communities to Combat Loneliness, Foster Diversity, and Cultivate Caring Relationships

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Isolation, separateness, and lack of openness to diverse perspectives have created what Lisa Kentgen calls a “crisis of connection.” Many Americans suffer from loneliness and poor mental and physical health because of the deterioration of social bonds, aided by a global public health crisis and political strife. In The Practice of Belonging, Kentgen unveils her findings about the qualities of vibrant and intentional communities that provide safety, inclusion, and healing. Kentgen conducted case studies among communities built around serving the chronically unhoused, people with disabilities, and incarcerated women to understand the impacts of acceptance, commitment to care, diversity, handling conflict, celebration, and hospitality on transforming how people relate to each other.

This book is an inspiring read for anyone looking to be a part of an intentional community: whether through transformation or creation. Kentgen conducted numerous interviews with community members of The Harmony Project, Community First! Village, L’Arche, and others to understand how people needed to change their way of thinking about relationships. Kentgen highlighted diverse voices in the well-researched and well-reasoned treatise. In addition, Kentgen also writes about what gets in the way, including lack of trust, unhealthy power dynamics, and unwillingness to confront racism and xenophobia. The balanced view helps to tell the whole story of the hard work required to create vibrant participatory communities.

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Author Lisa Kentgen
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 232 pages
Publisher North Atlantic Books
Publish Date 04-Apr-2023
ISBN 9781623177638 Buy this Book
Issue April 2023
Category Self-Help