In 2011, the Wyoming Humanities Council hosted Civility Matters!, a year-long series of programs considering the meaning of civility. Through a variety of formats, Civility Matters! creatively engaged public and private resources to build civic participation, foster cultural diversity, and promote critical thinking. Civility Matters! is being followed in 2012 with Giving Voice: a Wyoming Listening Project.
Civility Matters! was developed in response to the American Civility Tour of Jim Leach, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), along with the NEH’s new Bridging Cultures initiative, which focuses on the role of civility in a democracy and understanding Muslim contributions to world cultures.
Programs throughout the year were presented in a variety of formats and explored historically contentious events, as well as contemporary state, national, and international issues. Wide-ranging topics included “cyber-civility” and public discourse in the digital age; sports and civility; cyber and school bullying; academic freedom; generational differences; national topics, such as second amendment rights, labor relations, and energy and water issues; regional topics, such as the Rock Springs Massacre, the Johnson County Wars, and the World War II Heart Mountain Relocation Center; and international topics, such as Islamic contributions to world cultures and the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.
The Wyoming Humanities Council launched this significant initiative in partnership with the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, with funding from the Wyoming State Legislature.
Read about Civility Matters! in the Cody Enterprise.