Repairing the Breach

Repairing the Breach is carefully researched, clearly reasoned, and passionately presented. Published in 1996, it speaks of hope, renewal, and action. The report is considered a critical contribution to the establishment of a civil society, safe streets, and courteous discourse in American life. This seminal report should help each of us view our society and its most pressing problems with a renewed spirit of trust and public kinship. With the publication of Repairing the Breach, which was developed by a task force of leaders from all walks of life and ethnicities, we mark the beginning of a new era of hope and dialogue among our neighbors and in our homes, our institutions, and our nation.

The Repairing the Breach initiative consisted of three components:

  1. A philanthropic and programmatic component;
  2. A network of social and economic support organizations; and
  3. The task force report, Repairing the Breach: Key Ways to Support Family Life, Reclaim Our Streets, and Rebuild Civil Societies in America’s Communities, created by a forty-six member task force chaired by Ambassador Andrew Young and task force director and report editor Dr. Bobby Austin.

Repairing the Breach is formed around six major principles. These are the keys to strengthening families, restoring our streets to safety, and rebuilding civil societies in communities. Neighborhood Associates Corporation has embedded Repairing the Breach principles in the communities it serves and, as a partner, shares in the vision of building and sustaining communities that are anchored in these principles.


POLISThe concept of polis is an intentional community with an implicit social contract. It is a comprehensive idea regarding the values, manners, morals and etiquette needed for [re]structuring life in the public sphere. It involves building a sense of community and an understanding of both rights and responsibilities within the community.

Common Good

COMMON GOODaffirms our common humanity. It acknowledges the need for individuals to work also for the good of the whole.

Civic Storytelling


honors the ordinary citizen who becomes a hero by successfully creating public kinship, an ethos of regard for one another. The arts, humanities, and education play a role and the civic story is told and retold to establish one’s place in society and to create public kinship.

Restoring Community Institutions


focuses on reinventing and restructuring civil and social organizations in communities to address issues such as housing, economic development, and educational reform.

Grassroots Civic Leadership


aims to empower individuals to take control of their lives and communities through the development and use of effective leadership skills and discourse.

Civic Dialogue


is public discourse which builds understanding and public trust. Civic dialogue is the necessity of talking with and listening to one another with patience and tolerance for other points of view.