Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
From 1991 to 1998, Cassandra Dahnke and Tomas Spath led legislative conferences to Washington, DC on behalf of the Presbytery of New Covenant. It is out of the experiences of leading those trips and of a concern about growing polarization in our homes, communities, and nation today that the Institute was born. Incorporated in September 1997, the Institute began functioning as an organization in April, 1998.
Since that time, people from across the nation have joined this grassroots movement, and are making a difference in the lives of elected officials, staff and constituents – particularly the high school and college students who participate in our events. Through our Congressional Student Forums, speaking engagements, trips to Washington, DC, workshops, direct mailings, exhibits and personal contacts, members of the Institute have affected thousands of people to date. We have reached thousands more through numerous articles and our website (www.instituteforcivility.org), which has seen visits from across the country and around the world.
Our recently published book, Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 10 Rules That Work, includes true life civility stories. It is an easy guide to civility in government that lends itself to small group study and discussion. This book is an excellent piece of encouragement and hope – particularly during the election season!