Thinking Civility on Thanksgiving

We all have Thanksgiving traditions we have accumulated over the years with our family and friends. Somewhere in the mix, there is generally an appreciation for what is good in our lives – whether we express it overtly or not.

Here at the Institute, we always encourage folks to be involved in civic process and to build relationships with their elected officials. We encourage folks to become a resource and a source of support to our public servants. While many of us appreciate our form of government and the freedoms we enjoy, we don’t often say “thank you” to the many people who help make it all possible.

This Thanksgiving, we would like to express our thanks to the countless public servants at every level of government who help make this country what it is. Many hold positions that are strictly volunteer — on city councils or committees, neighborhood associations or school boards. Many hold positions that are difficult and contentious. Many sacrifice time with their family and friends in order to contribute to the greater good. And some put their lives on the line every day so that the rest of us don’t have to.

Next time you reach out to an elected official, civil servant, community volunteer, or member of our military – for whatever reason – start with a “thank you” for the work they are doing.  Whether you agree with them or not, without citizens who are willing to be involved – in ways large and small – this country would not be what it is today.

— Tomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke, Institute co-founders

Upcoming: Civility Training Workshop in Atlanta, GA

We are pleased to announce that on September 21, Institute co-founders Tomas Spath and Cassandra Dahnke will be conducting a Civility Training Workshop in the Atlanta area.

For those who are not aware, participants in Civility Training Workshops learn what civility makes possible, and what incivility prevents. The half-day program includes four sessions that feature tips on cultivating and maintaining civility in the workplace and in life, as well as activities and discussions that explore issues of:

  • How to have productive conversations across seemingly insurmountable ideological divides.
  • How to become an active listener.
  • How to take advantage of ideological diversity to increase productivity and achieve goals.
  • And what the Institute for Civility in Government can accomplish as people join this growing movement.

This Civility Training workshop will take place on Saturday, September 21 from 9 am to 2 pm at the Holiday Inn Express Airport at: 4601 Best Road, College Park, GA 30337. Admission to the event is $50 per person. For registration and details, please contact LaRita Reid via email at msreid50@att.net, or by telephone at (404) 326-7011.


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