Summit an Unparalleled, Emotional Experience: Victor Garcia

Summit an Unparalleled, Emotional Experience: Victor Garcia

Participants’ feedback iterates significance of CoreChange event

Dr. Victor Garcia says experiencing the Cincinnati CoreChange Summit was like seeing a child being born and take a first breath.

Victor is a pediatric surgeon with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and key champion of the CoreChange effort. He began the quest to see change in the urban core a decade ago when he made a promise to a mother whose child died as the result of a gunshot wound.

Victor promised that the child’s death would not be in vain, and began a quest to understand why so many children of colour in areas of poverty were dying before their time.

  Dr. Victor Garcia

The CoreChange Summit was born out of this vision to spark whole-system transformation in the city of Cincinnati.

More than 700 people registered for the Feb. 17-19 event, which led participants through the strengths-based Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process. AI pioneer David Cooperrider and systems-thinking thought leader Peter Senge co-facilitated the event.

Victor says the summit was an “evocative, emotional experience.”

He adds it was like giving birth to a new entity that will hopefully become a new movement that makes a “profound difference in this community and in this country and in this world.”

“It was unprecedented for this region,” he tells Axiom News.

The feedback he’s heard from participants demonstrates the depth of the three-day experience.

One young man said he didn’t think white people cared about what happened to people of colour in the urban core, and now sees that they do.

“That was one of the more powerful statements,” says Victor.

With several young people in attendance, one youth gave Victor a note saying her faith and hope in adults was restored, and thanked him for a safe platform for youth to be part of their future.

Victor notes another participant representing citizens seeking re-entry to the community after being incarcerated expressed a renewed sense of hope and possibility.

Even the co-facilitators had emotional responses to the experience, says Victor.

He says he’s not sure how many summits people like David and Peter would leave being so moved and feeling they were part of a historical moment.

“To see (the summit) actually materialize was something else,” says Victor.

- More to come

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Jennifer Neutel's picture
Jennifer Neutel

Jennifer Neutel is a Story Advocate and Generative Journalist at Axiom News. She completed her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa in 2006, and joined Axiom News in 2007. She has taken on a variety of roles at Axiom including new social media intiatives and has a passion for creating strengths-based questions that can lead to positive change.

Contact Jennifer:, or 705-741-4421 ext. 26.

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