The Two Harbors, Minnesota High School DECA chapter needed to come up with an idea for a group project.
They started talking about the most significant issues they felt were impacting their school. They realized that they had a culture that is disrespectful to each other and that they couldn't be open and honest with each other in a kind way. These attitudes were willing to break someone down and refused to build each other up. If someone had a difference in opinion, they were viewed as flat out wrong. No one wanted to speak up in discussions, and curiosity and learning no longer felt safe. It lacked all civility.
A group of DECA members approached their principal, Mr. Belcastro, to talk about the school's civility issues. He encouraged and challenged them to come up with a solution to the problem.
As they were thinking about Mr. Belcastro's challenge, they decided it was critical to expose this issue. They were curious; wanting to know was this just Two Harbors High School, or were other schools struggling as well? They decided to contact students and administration from numerous schools in the surrounding region. You know what they found out? It is a problem not only in other schools - but our culture as a whole. And they were determined to fix it.
Two Harbors decided to host a day-long conference titled the "Civility Summit," and the purpose was to tackle incivility head-on.
They knew they needed a professional speaker who could drive home the importance of being civil to each other. They were then introduced to "Dr. Mike" Thomson - a nationally recognized professional speaker who grew up in their area, and has since spoken to more than 2.5 million people around the world about Civility, Character & Leadership issues!
Dr. Mike, as he is known around the country, is a high-energy speaker who educates, engages, & empowers people to do better with their lives. They could not think of a more perfect person to speak on this topic, so they invited him to be the keynote and emcee for the day at the Civility Summit. Dr. Mike agreed enthusiastically. It was a game-changing decision for their project!
They invited 16 regional high schools to the Civility Summit, and they all agreed to attend the 8:30 - 1:30 summit. They also wanted to see a change in their community too. They invited numerous school board, business, ministerial and community leaders connected to each high school to participate as a working Civility Team during the summit. Their Mayor, Chris Swanson proclaimed the day as Two Harbors Civility Day. Their Chamber of Commerce President, Janelle Jones invited numerous business leaders knowing that this issue is clearly affecting their current and future workforce.
They knew they were onto something BIG.
They filled their auditorium with over 600 people and listened to the impactful and challenging messages from Dr. Mike. No one was on their phone. Everyone was writing everything down that Dr. Mike talked about. They were not only engaged and hungry for information he shared, but they were transformed to become a better version of themselves and then share that magic with others in helping them become better. In fact, that was the very same theme for the day and it was displayed on a huge banner that everyone signed on their way into the venue that read, "Better Me : Better You : Better Us!"
Throughout the day, participants divided up into breakout groups and discussed questions that Dr. Mike challenged them on. All together for one day. All in one setting. All engaging in robust dialogue with not only each other but also other invited local area Civility Teams representing their own schools, businesses, communities, and homes. All formulating a plan of action to bring back to their respective school and communities that would raise the bar for Civility, Character & Leadership — The Day Was Awesome!
But the Civility Summit event was just the beginning...
Dr. Mike said right from the start that he would not get involved if this was going to be just another one-and-done event. As Dr. Mike puts it, "If you truly want to make a difference in your schools, businesses, communities, and homes, then you must feed the brain of everyone who comes to a Civility Summit with a constant and never ending unlimited success diet long after the event ends. If repetition truly is the mother of success, then I have an obligation to provide resources for everyone in attendance on how to become a better version of themselves showing up each and every day so they in turn can pay that forward to others and make in impact."
Dr. Mike and his team follow up with everyone who attends the Civility Summit literally one hour after they leave in order to continue to feed them that diet of Civility, Leadership & Character tips through multiple social media vehicles. There is a LOT of education, interaction and sharing of thoughts and ideas that occurs long after the kickoff Civility Summit occurs. With the backdrop of "one person really can make a difference," each individual is challenged throughout the year to share not only great ideas that are working in their schools, businesses, communities & homes but also participate in fun and engaging online contests. The education, engagement & empowerment is amazing to witness!
There was a lightbulb moment and question that the Two Harbors students had after all of the successful activities they were implementing in their school and community after the Civility Summit occurred...
Could acts of kindness have a positive impact on mental health? They started researching and sure enough; many studies prove that one of the most impactful things we can do for people's mental health is to do a kind thing for them. Not only does it impact the person that receives the kind act, but it also has a powerful and positive impact on the person who is kind.
They decided they wanted to get as many people as possible to do acts of kindness. They felt if there was a challenge involved they could get more engagement from others too, so they formed the kindness challenge called, "FindTheKind Challenge." Their purpose behind everything that they were doing was, "to positively impact mental health through acts of kindness." The reason why they decided to run their kindness challenges on social media was to engage as many people possible in acts of kindness — They engaged over 2 million people worldwide!
Lastly, they decided they wanted 100% of donations raised from the FindTheKind Challenge to go to the National Civility Association. Their primary mission is to help host more Civility Summits nationwide. The reason why they chose this as their primary mission was that they saw the impact that the Civility Summit had in the individuals, schools, businesses, and community members that attended their own Civility Summit in Two Harbors, and they wanted to help "Pay It Forward" and spread that same impact nationwide.
2020; Our Efforts Today:
Unfortunately we are seeing the world riddled with issues related to violence, incivility, disrespect, bullying, racism, social isolation, suicide, the opioid epidemic and the list goes on and on — Just watch the latest news story about civil unrest and we think you will agree with us...
THE TIME TO DO SOMETHING "TOGETHER" IS NOW!
There is no better time for all of us to step, speak up and speak out in the name of Resurrecting Civility, Character & Leadership One School, One Business, One Community & One Home at a Time — And that is where we come in with our Civility Summits.
Every time we have done a Civility Summit, School leaders approach us and say, "This is going to change the culture and climate within our schools, unlike anything we've done before." Business leaders approach us and say "This was incredible. Each of our employees need to hear these messages in our business!" Community leaders approach us and say "We need to share these messages with everyone throughout our communities!" Parents approach us and say, "We need more of this in our homes!" — We heard you loud and clear!
We know that the issues listed in the graphics and text above are issues that do NOT live in isolation. These issues are affecting Schools — Businesses — Communities — Homes all across our country.
As a result, we made a pivot in how we are collaborating on our pre-event funding and organization of our summits. Once a community expresses interest we are now locking arms with School Leaders, Mayors, City Council, County Trustees and Chamber of Commerce members, Ministerial, Library, Parks & Rec members, Business, Industry & Community leaders, First Responders and Military leaders along with Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and Optimist community services groups to put their head's together and collaborate on how they can raise the funds together and help with the in-kind donations. It's amazing to see how this is never about money or stuff when each group knows that these issues are affecting all parties involved in their community. Now imagine representatives from each of these groups are coming to the Civility Summit and are collaborating and working side-by-side with core groups of student leaders from each of their high schools, their high school & district administrative team members, board members, counselors, teachers, transportation, custodial, food service staff and sports & co-curricular leaders.
I'll bet you can now feel the POWER of our proven process of why coming "Together" as a working Civility Team always starts something magical.
Bringing together these "Working Civility Teams" from your community with representatives from each of these above listed groups...
The power and impact each one of these people will have on transforming your Schools, Businesses, Communities and Homes!
What is so great about all of what you are reading here is that we have been told time and time again by School and City Leaders that our Civility Summits fit perfectly with their school and community strategic plans because they:
OUR QUESTION TO YOU IS SIMPLE...
Would you like us to help you host a Civility Summit in Your Area?
Just click here - NCAHolly@gmail.com - to send Holly (our incredible Civility Summit Coordinator) an email and let us know that you are interested in getting one going in your area and we will get back to you right away!
And/Or FILL OUT the simple form below: