The Door County Civility Project is a community-based initiative that advances the cause of civility in everyday life to strengthen our shared community.
The vision of the Door County Civility Project is an engaged community that values the opinions and ideas of others and is committed to civil behavior and discourse.
The mission of the Door County Civility Project is to foster and incorporate the principles of civility into the fabric of everyday life.
The goal of the Door County Civility Project is to advance and secure commitment to the principles of civility by:
Engaging and educating the community with a clear and consistent message;
Providing the community with necessary support, resources, and tools.
The Door County Civility Project, formed in the spring of 2013, is a community-based initiative to advance the cause of civility in everyday life and strengthen our shared community.
The Door County Civility Project was formed in 2013 after many conversations in our local communities:
In 2012 the League of Women Voters (LWV DC) noted that once again many candidates for local elected offices run “uncontested”. One of the noted reasons was that people simply don’t want to “take the guff” they saw elected officials receiving – a sign of incivility.
In 2012, the Wisconsin Council of Churches promoted “The Season of Civility”. Church groups. including several local churches, conducted discussions of Parker Palmer’s book, Healing the Heart of Civility - increasing local interest in civility.
In 2012 the LWV DC held seven public showings of the documentary film Patriocracy. The film focused on national issues but discussions held after each showing indicated the growing frequency of acts incivility (perceived or real) was a serious concern among attendees.
This led the LWV DC to study the Civility Projects of Duluth-Superior, Truckee-Tahoe and Oshkosh, all based on the work of Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility and The Civility Solution. Patti Vickman, Superintendent of Southern Door Schools and LWV member, had previously worked with the Oshkosh project and helped bring their team to Door County in January, 2013. Over 40 people attended, including school leaders and leaders of non-profits, churches, businesses, etc.
When participants were surveyed following the presentation, there was resounding support to initiate a Door County Civility Project. Comments referred to the epidemic problem of bullying in schools, incivility at some public meetings and personal experiences in the workplace as reasons why our community could benefit from a civility project.
In May 2013 Core Planning Committee of twelve people formed and developed a mission and vision statement: “The Door County Civility Project is a community-based initiative that aims to foster and incorporate principles of civility into the fabric of everyday life in Door County. We hope to see communities full of engaged citizens who value the opinions and ideas of others and are committed to civil behavior and discourse. It’s not a campaign to end disagreements.
Disagreements can lead to healthy debate, which brings new information and ideas to light. Good communication is the key! We plan to reach not only elected officials and political groups but also regular people, in schools, neighborhood organizations, service groups, churches, businesses and even the parents on the sidelines of youth athletic contests.We believe that civility can be as contagious as incivility! In July, 2013 the DCCP proudly became a fund of the Door County Community Foundation. The Core Planning Committee developed a strategic plan and budget, as well as program goals. Twenty people agreed to be part of our speaker’s bureau. As of (October, 2016 the DCCP volunteers have made introduced the Project to over 2000 individuals in over 75 groups in the public, private, non-profit, and religious sectors of Door County. 12 two-hour training sessions have been conducted around the county, including Washington Island.
This website, DoorCountyCivilityProject.org, was developed and the project's Facebook page has 300 + followers. The Door County Civility Pledge has been endorsed by over 1000 individuals and 35 organizations. An additional 11 businesses and organizations have endorsed the project through financial contributions. (See our Training and Presentations page for more details.) Public awareness of Tools of Civility and the Civility Project have been the focus of monthly articles in each of our major publications – The Peninsula Pulse, written by Susan McAninch, and the Door County Advocate, written by Orlaine Gabert. READ MORE HERE
What we have learned from these many conversations with the people of Door County is while most consider themselves to be “civil people” and the groups they are involved with to “generally behave in a civil manner ” most also admit that they have had personal and professional experiences when they or others around them have struggled to be civil… usually when angry, frustrated or hurt.
Most of these local governmental bodies, businesses, and organizations have chosen to endorse civility; not because they feel they have not been civil in the past but because they simply believe it is the right thing to do, but because it may help their groups and their constituents maintain civility when the next “contentious” situation comes along…. and it seems they always do at some point.
Current leadership team members
Rob Burk Susan McAninich Michael Quinlan Mark Nelson Shirley Senarighi - Coordinator Patti Vickman Sue Todey Diane Slivka Orlaine Gabert
We appreciate the support and advice of our consultants: Brey Bicoy, Door County Community Foundation Tom Grogan, UW Oshkosh & the Oshkosh Civility Project
We also want to express our gratitude and appreciation to many other supporting individuals and organizations. Here's a starting list in no particular order: