2017 Civility Training Workshop

Saturday April 8, 2017

8:30am – 2:00pm

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas in Blakely Hall

Cost $10 (includes lunch)

Free childcare available

Click Here To Register

Led by Cassandra Dahnke (Click here for Cassandra's bio) and Tomás Spath (Click here for Tomás' bio) from the Institute for Civility in Government

Sponsored and underwritten by First Presbyterian Church of Dallas (Education and Congregational Life Councils), First United Methodist Church of Dallas,  and Grace Presbytery (PCUSA)

The Institute for Civility in Government is dedicated to reducing the polarization of our political and legislative processes by facilitating dialogue, teaching respect, and building civility in both the public and private spheres. The Instituted endorses no political candidate and takes no stand on any issue.  Their concern is process, not position.

What is Civility? – Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process. Civility is about more than just politeness, although politeness is a necessary first step.  It is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past ones preconceptions and teaching others to do the same. Civility is the hard work of staying preset even with those with whom we have deep-rooted and fierce disagreements.  It is political in the sense that it is a necessary prerequisite for civic action.  But it is political, too, in that sense that it is about negotiating interpersonal power such that everyone’s voice is heard, and nobody’s is ignored.

What is Civility Training? – The training explores what civility is and why it is important.  Participants will learn what civility makes possible and what incivility prevents.  Tips on how to maintain civility will be shared.  This highly participatory and interactive seminary also explores the influence of belief systems, and includes exercises in listening and communication skills and teamwork.  The four parts of the training, based on the rules of the leaders book “Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square – 10 Rules that Work” (1) Know thyself/differences are enriching, 2) Listen with your heart, mind, and strength, 3) Help comes from unexpected places, 4) One is powerful but numbers count.

About the Leaders – Both Casandra and Tomas are ordained PCUSA ministers based in Houston who have led workshops for churches, schools and colleges, civic groups, and elected government leaders all around Texas and the country. And they regularly lead groups including high school and college students on Congressional Student Forums.  They have appeared on PBS, CSPAN and NPR.

Schedule for the day – 8:30 am Registration begins and coffee and lite refreshments, 9:00 begins, break for lunch with table questions around noon, conclude no later than 2pm.

Click here to register