Project Civitas promotes civility on and off campus

Project Civitas encourages community to advocate for cooperation, compromise and consensus

Students chatting

Lynn University is calling its community to practice civility through a new initiative, Project Civitas. The effort stems from the recent U.S. election that has divided the nation.

Project Civitas at Lynn was developed by Dr. Robert Watson, professor of American Studies at the university and political analyst, as he studied what he believes to be the most divisive presidential campaign since the 1860s. Watson called politicians to take a stand for civility in a recent editorial published by the Sun Sentinel.

“The lack of civility in politics and public life is one of the greatest challenges facing our democracy today,” says Watson. “Our Framers agreed that they must cooperate, compromise and seek consensus. This not only enabled them to be successful, but it became the principles of self-government.”

Lynn’s mission through the program is to promote civility in politics and public life through education in and outside of the classroom. Efforts will include promoting Jan. 21 as a National Day of Civility, hosting “Dialogues in Civility” programs that complement the university’s award-winning Dialogues core curriculum, and encouraging public leaders and communities to take a civility pledge.

“We will never be able to address the issues facing our country if we are unable to have open, courteous and fact-based conversations,” adds Watson. “A healthy democracy requires a commitment to cooperation and the ability to compromise.”

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