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Civic engagement initiative launches

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The Good Community Committee will formally launch the Civility Project for Springfield and Greene County tonight with a guest lecture by P.M. Forni, a professor at Baltimore, Md.-based Johns Hopkins University. The lecture, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Gillioz Theatre downtown, is free and open to the public.

The Good Community Committee, an informal organization of community leaders, formed the civic engagement project as an attempt to springboard more healthy public discussion, according to a news release.

“One of our ideals when the Good Community was founded in 1995 was to help ensure a vigorous civil society,” Good Community Committee chairman Brian Fogle said in the release. “Democracy can only flourish when there is a strong civic engagement.

"Our hope with the Civility Project is that our citizens can feel comfortable to participate in civil dialogue without fear of verbal attacks and incivility," he added. "By having a more civil discussion, we ultimately hope all voices are heard and considered.”

Forni is a founder of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University and author of “Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct” and “The Civility Solution.”

According to the release, Civility Project organizers will encourage leaders in government, business, education, athletics and faith to adopt a list of 10 tenets Forni describes as basic principles of respect and civility, which are:
  • be attentive;
  • acknowledge others;
  • be inclusive;
  • listen;
  • respect other views;
  • speak out with courage;
  • act with compassion;
  • give and accept constructive feedback;
  • treat your environment with respect; and
  • be accountable.
The Greene County Commission recently adopted the tenets with a resolution calling for "spirited public discourse" and "mutual respect for all opinions," the release said.[[In-content Ad]]

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