As KSMU's Sense of Community Series on the State of Civility In Our Community winds down, we're looking back several years at a then forward looking, and now on-going initiative. Be Civil Be Heard is designed to encourage and incorporate civil engagement in our community.
Elizabeth Dudash Buskirk, is a Communications Professor at Missouri State University, and Curator of Be Civil Be Heard, a not-for-profit partner of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, currently administered out of the MSU Center For Community Engagement. Dudash-Buskirk says the concept for Be Civil Be Heard, came after a series of contentious Springfield City Council meetings, several years ago: “I think it was somewhere between eight and ten years ago, the City Council and others in Springfield, really wanted to get a grip on having community conversation that was more civil than what was occurring. They felt the city conversations were really problematic.”