Detroit Civility Project Tips

Respect Differences
Listen and Gain Understanding
Engage in Civil Dialogue

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Topics for Discussion

When you meet with your match, start the conversation by discussing your backgrounds. Where did you grow up? How did that shape the way you view and operate within the world? You can discuss why you wanted to participate in this project, and your thoughts on civil discourse in today’s world. You may let the conversation flow naturally to other topics as you see fit, such as politics, religion, etc., but you are not required to do so.

Ultimately, you and your match are in charge of what you do and do not discuss. The goal is to meet a person who you may not have talked to otherwise, and to get to know each other better in the interest of civil conversation.

Whether you agree or disagree on certain topics, you can use the tips below to have a successful conversation with your match.

The Joy of Civility with Shelby Joy Scarbrough

During the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference, Shelby Scarbrough delivered a keynote address titled “The Joy of Civility.” Scarbrough provided crucial advice on language and protocol to use when interacting with others.

The Roles of Civility

Scarbrough explained how our roles of civility can be defined by how we relate to people as individuals, how we relate to our society, and our responsibility and roles within society.

“We don’t need to wait for Superman to come save us from incivility,” Scarbrough said. “We give up our power when we wait for the change to be made for us. We can be the superhero of our own story.”

How to Prepare for Your Meetup

  • Adopt an “I come in peace” mindset before you arrive.
  • Have an “after you” mentality and put the needs of others first.
  • Prepare to pull your own weight.
  • Bring the gift of humility and compassion with you wherever you go.

Tips for a Productive Discussion:

  • Every transaction is an opportunity for interaction. Anytime you interact with someone is an opportunity to make someone’s day or build on a relationship.
  • Speak from your own experience and knowledge, not from opinion.
  • Listen to learn from the other person.
  • Ask questions to understand perspectives outside of your own.
  • Do not tell people what they should do.
  • Have patience with yourself and others.

How To Share Your Meet Up

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