National Civility Center Defines “Civility” for Wikipedia in Advance of Civility Awareness Month

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Founder Roberts Passes Torch to New Leadership

As evidence that society recognizes ‘incivility’ more readily than it does ‘civility,’ Wikipedia recently accepted, for the first time, a definition for the word ‘civility,’ as submitted by a team of scholars and experts from the National Civility Center (http://www.civilitycenter.org) and the Institute for Civil Dialogue (http://www.civil-dialogue.com). Until this entry, readers and researchers of Wikipedia were redirected to ‘incivility’ when seeking a definition for ‘civility.’

“It is quite telling that society has found it easier to define ‘uncivil’ behavior and dialogue than it has been able to define, with clarity, the actual term of ‘civility,” said Russ Charvonia, president of the National Civility Center.

Expressing his personal satisfaction over this entry, Kent Roberts, co-founder of the National Civility Center, said: “The fact that our mission, in today’s complex society, is seen to be more viable and relevant, speaks volumes for the stated purpose of this organization that we started some 15 years ago!”    Announcing his intention to step down as Executive Director of the Center, Roberts is lauded by his peers for being instrumental in creating an organization that is today at the epicenter of a movement to restore civility in society. While Roberts will remain on the board of the Center, Lew Bayer took over as Executive Director, effective November 1, 2015.

"The opportunity to serve the National Civility Center has been enormously rewarding on a personal level. I am excited and confident that our new leadership team, led by our dynamic new Director, Lew Bayer, can achieve even greater success. I am grateful to all who have been associated with the Center for our first 15 years, and look forward to help to accomplish much more in the months and years ahead." said Kent Roberts.

An author and leading expert on civility, Bayer is also President of Civility Experts Worldwide with head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She is frequently quoted by the news media and provides expert commentary on civility to a variety of news outlets. “It’s a privilege to support the important work facilitated by the Civility Center and I’m proud to be part of the team,” states Bayer.

The achievement of having civility defined by Wikipedia is particularly poignant as Civility Awareness Month kicks off in May.

About the National Civility Center: A not-for-profit organization established in 2000 to help people make their communities better places to live. The organization holds a belief in a comprehensive approach to improvement – one that engages all relevant stakeholders around shared ideas and a unified plan of action that will allow community members and organizations to become more effective in solving tough social issues.

Given the current context of today’s society, the organization’s mission is critical to building capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities to meet the many challenges society faces. The Center makes available uniquely developed resources and ideas, to serve as tools, to all who are interested in joining the path to civility.

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Russ Charvonia
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