Community Learning Exchange

The Jacksonville Community Learning Exchange is in just a few weeks!

“Moral Courage: The heart of faith, education and change”
October 9-12
Jacksonville, Florida

The Importance of Moral Courage

Moral courage is fundamental to collective leadership and work that leads to social change.

“It’s easy to have passion about a cause but much harder to be moved with compassion to act beyond words and against social and personal injustices,” said Sophie Maxis, assistant professor of school counseling at University of North Florida and one of the planning team members of the Jacksonville CLE.

“When I think of the great and lesser-known heroes, whose lives and contributions made a positive difference in social movements, moral courage was the common denominator.”

Experiencing the Jacksonville CLE

The Jacksonville-St. Augustine region of Florida has a long history of community-driven activism, and it is a powerful place to explore stories from the past and present. Next month’s CLE will focus on how moral courage can connect individuals and organizations, fueling influential movements that promote equality, respect and peace.

CLE participants will engage with a variety of local leaders, from community members who were active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s to youth who are working to make today’s communities more just. The Jacksonville CLE is a chance for leaders from all over the country to see the lasting impact of the Civil Rights Movement, including through natives of historical African-American communities and current ongoing initiatives. The context of these stories will help inform and shape participants’ views of moral courage in their own lives.

“This message plays out in my work in significant ways,” said Sophie. “I find value in engaging myself, and my students, in the community in ways that require nudges outside of our comfort zones. The more time I spend with youth and families in the urban core of Jacksonville, I see acts of moral courage all the time. These reminders challenge me to live courageously as community member, educator and learner.”

Bridging the Leadership Gap at JAX-CLE

Faith, education and activism will converge in Jacksonville next month to strengthen connections and empower leaders to continue to develop moral courage in their daily actions. A unique partnership of people is hosting this CLE, bridging the divide between public education institutions and communities of faith. They will share how they are building trust and relationships to better connect and serve their community.

“My hope is that the CLE participants will leave with a fuller picture of the nuances of the Civil Rights Movement historically and a greater sense of urgency for the current consciousness that is needed to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable among us,” said Sophie. “I hope that the CLE participants will leave with a better sense of their capacity for moral courage within their home communities.”

Interested in bringing a team to the Jacksonville CLE? Contact Chris Janson at cajanson(at)

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