The Practice of Belonging

Six Lessons from Vibrant Communities to Combat Loneliness, Foster Diversity, and Cultivate Caring Relationships

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Pub Date 04 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2023

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Description

An inspirational guide to the 6 core qualities of healthy communities, for anyone looking to build community as a source of connection and a vehicle for social change

After two years meeting with different communities in the US, psychologist Lisa Kentgen identified 6 key traits of vibrant, healthy communities that we can all apply to our own lives and networks:

  • Commitment to care
  • Acceptance
  • Diversity
  • Skillful conflict resolution
  • Bonding rituals
  • Hospitality

Each chapter focuses on one of these traits, highlighting a particular community as a case study of how it can be put into practice. You’ll learn about a wide range of successful community models, including a tiny-home village for people who had been chronically houseless in Austin, Texas; a study circle to build connection between Native and non-Native people in a small town in South Dakota; a 500-member community choir in Columbus, Ohio; and a Buddhist center in Barre, Massachusetts committed to bringing greater diversity to the Dharma.

Throughout the book, you’ll reflect: How can we cultivate these traits of vibrant community in our own lives? What would it look like to prioritize caring and acceptance in our interactions with others? How can we create a climate of true inclusivity, one where our differences both challenge and strengthen us? How can we learn to feel more comfortable with tension and acquire the skills to move through conflict toward creative solutions? What would happen if we incorporated meaningful rituals into our communities and made a point of celebrating each other? 

With intention and practice, we can transform our social relationships and build communities that appreciate difference, encourage authentic expression, and foster an environment of belonging and mutual care. This book will inspire you to make the transformative leap from “me” to “we,” creating communal, loving spaces in which to connect--and thrive--together.
An inspirational guide to the 6 core qualities of healthy communities, for anyone looking to build community as a source of connection and a vehicle for social change

After two years meeting with...

A Note From the Publisher

For more information, or to request a physical review copy, please contact: publicity@northatlanticbooks.com.

For more information, or to request a physical review copy, please contact: publicity@northatlanticbooks.com.


Advance Praise

"Building sustainable justice in the world requires telescoping from the personal to the interpersonal to the systemic with such frequency it can feel impossible. What a gift that The Practice of Belonging helps us do exactly that in ways that become fluid and even joy-filled instead of terrifying. Kentgen's book put me in mind of Piepzna-Samarasinha's book Care Work, and like that book, The Practice of Belonging gives me hope for the possibility of communities that aren't only just but are also delightful."

—Sandhya Jha, activist and author of Transforming Communities


The Practice of Belonging is a uniquely powerful book. The author speaks profoundly of community's meaning and tells us where this possibility is occurring in the world right now. Which means she is making the world we want to inhabit accessible to us. The insight of one chapter title, “The vulnerable help us shed our masks” is reason enough to embrace this book. There is a quiet and essentially unreported movement occurring in our local places, and this book and the way it is written hasten this along.

—Peter Block, author of Community: Structure of Belonging and a citizen of Cincinnati


"This book is a powerful master class in how to set up vibrant communities at a time when connecting with each other has never been more important. We have a choice about the cultures we build. The Practice of Belonging offers a first-of-its-kind roadmap to build cultures of belonging, inclusion, and support so that we thrive."

—Bethany Klynn, Organizational psychologist and President of Insight Leadership Consulting


"In this passionate book about vibrant community, Kentgen takes the reader on an unforgettable tour of sanctuaries where mutual care - and the commitment to a shared way of life - are alive and thriving. Heartful, intelligent, and deeply inspiring, this journey to the front lines of the 'belonging revolution' — and the extraordinary people who are making it happen — offers hope and vision for a more communal future at a time when we so desperately need it. A cri de coeur against the epidemic of loneliness overwhelming our nation. I highly recommend it. 

—Mark Matousek, author of Ethical Wisdom: The Search for a Moral Life

"Building sustainable justice in the world requires telescoping from the personal to the interpersonal to the systemic with such frequency it can feel impossible. What a gift that The Practice of...


Marketing Plan

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  • Trade outreach
  • Digital ARCs
  • Targeted online, podcast, and print media outreach
  • Outreach to community-planning, spiritual, and mental health media
  • Goodreads giveaway
  • Advertising
  • Social media campaign

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781623177638
PRICE $17.95 (USD)
PAGES 232

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