Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the ninth annual Civility Day will occur in Sykes Student Union from 9 a.m. until the evening. This year’s theme will explore the role of various kinds of expressions and their impact on communities.Civility Day allows the university to stress the importance of a civil community, and it promotes compassion, respect and understanding. “With every event that celebrates a theme, we may take that theme for granted,” said Professor Kate Northrop, who works as a creative writing professor and is the co-chair of the University Forum, a group that has a large part in planning Civility Day.

“Civility is more than holding the door for someone.There’s a lot to learn about civility, like how important civility is and how hard it is to be civil,” Northrop said.

This year’s theme is “Express Yourself! Community, Individuality and Respect.” “We try a different angle every year to look into a different aspect of what it means to be civil,” Northrop said.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. in Sykes Ballroom A with a breakfast with President Adler. Throughout the day, students and professors will be hosting discussions on important issues that impact all communities, including civil liberties, academic freedom, race identity and other important topics.

The keynote address will be given by Jane Golden from 12:15-1:15 p.m. in Sykes Ballrooms A and B. Golden heads the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia, a program that was started in 1984 and encourages mural making and art education throughout the city. She is also an instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. Golden co-authored the book “Philadelphia Murals and Stories We Tell.”

“My hope is that Golden will start a fire and encourage people to think about how they can express themselves in their communities,” said Northrop.

“Jane’s vision for community change through art is an excellent fit for Civility Day,” said Donna Carney, who works as an administrative assistant for the university. Carney also works with the Honors Program and serves as the coordinator for the Bonner Leader Program.

Carney had the chance to meet Golden because her son, Brad, works for the Mural Arts Program. “I finally had an opportunity to meet Jane when she shared remarks at a mural dedication that my son worked on. You can hear an excitement in her voice and feel a genuine love, commitment and gratitude that exists between her and the communities involved,” she said.

The evening’s speaker will be Jane Elliot, a teacher, lecturer and diversity trainer. She will give a speech from 7:30-9 p.m. in room 168 of Main Hall. Because seating in room 168 is limited, there will be a video conference of Elliot’s speech in the Ehinger Gym at the same time. Her theme is “The Anatomy of Prejudice.” She believes that prejudice and bigotry are based on an unjust class system. She also created the Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes exercise, which exposes participants to the affects of being a minority.

Though all of Civility Day is free, those wishing to see Eilliot speak must pick up a free ticket in room 238 of Sykes.

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