Will Enter APS Classroom Learning

Civility Center to Open
Posted on 01/21/2019
Image of Civility Center(Jennifer Conn for Cleveland.com)

Akron-area leaders announced on Wednesday the creation of the Greater Akron Civility Center to address what they say is a sharp decline in civility nationally and locally.

Housed in The University of Akron’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, the center is an offshoot of the Ohio Civility Project, created several years ago by UA, the University of Mount Union and Cleveland State University.

Since the Ohio project’s launch, people around the state have expressed interested in the work, said UA’s interim President John Green at a news conference. Some were from governing bodies where incivility is a problem.

“I want to emphasize the quest for civility is a bipartisan activity,” Green told those gathered at the launch event.

The center will work to encourage civility, as well as discourage incivility, Green said. To achieve that, standards will be set for people to work toward and be held accountable to, he said. Akron Public Schools students will also be exposed to the idea in their classes, he said.

The center is designed to serve as a convener for civility advocates, representing city and county government, the faith-based community, nonprofits and Akron Public Schools. An advisory board has been selected to oversee the work.

“The key is that the Civility Center is not owned by t\The University of Akron, it’s owned by the community,” Green said.

Plans also call for establishing an annual summit to celebrate civility and the advisory board is considering an award for individuals who exemplify civility standards, Green said

County Executive Ilene Shapiro emphasized the importance of enabling everyone to have a voice.

“Civility isn’t just a word,” she said. “It’s a powerful action that leads to dialogue, it leads to solutions and it leads to a common understanding.”

Mayor Dan Horrigan said restoring civility and opening communication is needed to combat a sense of mistrust of government in the broader community.

“I love opposing ideas,” he said. “We learn by listening to people. Respecting others’ opinions is where to start. It is mission critical.“

Other communities will eventually want to emulate Akron’s work in creating a culture of civility, said Rev. Carl P. Wallace, minister for special projects at United Church of Christ.

“We can’t completely stop stupidity and hate, but we can come together as one community to speak truth to power and bring about change,” he said.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.