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Good Community Committee to Introduce Civility Project

In an attempt to increase civic engagement in Springfield and other areas of Greene County areas, the Good Community Committee will be formally launching a project to remind citizens of the importance of respect when it comes to matters of public discourse. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the details.

Over a year ago the members Good Community Committee began noticing specific things taking place in the community that they saw to be a negative influence on local government and civic engagement.

The result? The Civility Project, which will be introduced Wednesday night at the Gillioz Theater in downtown Sprinfield. Brian Fogle, the chairman of the Good Community Committee, says the project will be the first of its kind.

“It’s really the first one that is trying to increase the tone and tenor, and improve the tone and tenor of our community, so everybody feels like they can have a voice and not be attacked or be threatened by what they’re trying to say,” Fogle says.

As part of the project the committee is asking members of the public to commit to holding themselves and speakers at public meetings accountable. Also, the Springfield Public School District plans to introduce curriculum that would stress the importance of civility and civic engagement.

Fogle says the committee continues to work with members of other non-profit organizations and civic groups in an effort to come to an understanding of how to operate together.

“It’s really trying to remind people how important it is to treat one another with respect, to listen, to be aware, to try and understand and not just yell and scream all the time,” he says

As part of Wednesday night’s event, the committee will host John Hopkins University professor Dr. P.M. Forni. Dr. Forni is one of the preeminent experts on civility in this country and founded a similar project at John Hopkins in 1997.

Once again the event is at 6 p.m. at the Gillioz in downtown Springfield and will be free and open to the public.

For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.