World Civility Day connects global community

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CHUCK HUGHES IS photographed (kneeling, center) with 2018 World Civility Day award recipients from various states and countries holding the plaque they received. They were honored by Ambassador Dr. Clyde Rivers for their work in making people aware of civility, as well as teaching and practicing “Community Civility.”

Community Civility Counts will hold its 4th Annual World Civility Day events on Thursday, April 11, 2019 with a full-day of civility-themed activities. World Civility Day will include a kickoff lunch and workshops at the Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond IN.

Workshop themes include “civility in the classroom,” and “workplace civility” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The 6:00 p.m. awards dinner at the Avalon Manor, 3550 E. US Highway 30, in Merrillville, will highlight featured speakers, with awards presented by Community Civility Counts. Young people from school districts in Northwest Indiana will participate, along with groups from 28 states and countries.

Civility – Community Civility – World Civility Day is an idea initiated by the Public Policy Committee at the Gary Chamber of Commerce. An initiative to encourage individuals to treat others with dignity and respect in all their interactions, it has become a worldwide phenomenon.

“World Civility Day brings aware- ness to something people have control over and must do some- thing about,” says Gary Chamber of Commerce CEO Chuck Hughes. “Based on the ever-growing number of attendees, people from all over the world feel the same way.”

From activists to world leaders, people from various professions and walks of life are not just referring to the need for more civility when they talk, they are actively making people aware of the need for change.

What is “civility?” According to the online Vocabulary.com site, “Civility is the act of showing regard for others by being polite, like the civility shown in speaking kindly to someone who has hurt your feelings.

“Civility comes from the Latin word civilis, meaning ‘relating to public life, befitting a citizen,’ in other words, being friendly and nice to everyone. When you show civility, you use kindness and good manners. You are respectful, even if you do not like that person very much. Civility can also mean formal politeness, like your behavior at a fancy dinner.”

Today we are seeing less civility, if any at all, in people. From what we see coming out of the White House to people you would never expect to behave with incivility—it’s everywhere.

In an April 7, 2018 column published in the Gary Crusader newspaper, Vernon Williams said, “Incivility is not limited to extreme racial bigotry, oppressive misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, abuse of the mentally or physically challenged, or blatant bigotry.  The nation’s pervasive lack of civility is manifest in every race, age, income, education, religion, nationality, political persuasion, and sexual preference.”

Apparently, we as a society should not give a pass to people in leadership roles because it creates a culture of acceptance for various acts of incivility.

Williams goes on to say, “Now, many so-called celebrities get a pass because fans give license for stars to behave badly in situations in which the average person would be roundly condemned. The fact is that a rude rock star, athlete, elected official or tycoon has no more right to a callous or dismissive demeanor than anyone else.”

For more information and to discuss sponsorships and reserve tickets for the April 11, 4th Annual World Civility Day, contact the Gary Chamber of Commerce at (219) 885-7407.

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