MSU PR student Kelsey Coombs explains speaking with courage

From Kelsey Coombs (Springfield, MO)

Speaking with courage is not usually the first thing we think of when having a conversation about sensitive topics. But what is speaking with courage? What does it mean for you and I in our society today with many controversial conversations all around us?

Be Civil Be Heard’s message is focused on targeting exactly that topic. This non-profit organization strives for progress through civility within it’s community. There are 10 tenets of civility and Speaking Out with Courage is the 6th tenet, as shown below.

1. Be Attentive
Live with awareness toward others and your surroundings.

2. Acknowledge Others
Greet people, ideas and values with respect.

3. Be Inclusive
Recognize and welcome all people every day.

4. Listen
Seek to understand by concentrating on what people say.

5. Respect Other Views
Respond to different opinions with a fair and open mind.

6. Speak Out With Courage
Express yourself with honor and conviction.

7. Act with Compassion
Treat others with kindness and honesty.

8. Give and Accept Constructive Feedback
Consider criticism thoughtfully and factually.

9. Treat Your Environment with Respect
Show regard for nature, resources and shared spaces.

10. Be Accountable
Acknowledge mistakes and take responsibility for your actions.


As corny as it may seem, Martin Luther King Jr. made some of the most famous speeches in our history. We know this already because he was a man who spoke with honor and conviction. Every word that came out of his mouth, was working towards civility within his community. His message focused on hardships and solutions while also speaking with confidence and certainity. Watch this short video below to grasp how Martin Luther King Jr. spoke with courage.


Expressing yourself with honor and conviction is extremely important today, especially when others chose not to. While having civil conversations, you want to be able to express your opinion and perspective while also listening to others thoughts. Our opinion’s deserve to be expressed and heard through an appropriate way. We can not have progress through civility if we are not taking every tenet into consideration.

BeCivilBeHeard is a great way to start engaging in your community through many programs that the non-profit has set up. Table Top Talks, Soup & Civility, and Civic Education are some programs that they hold for any organization to take advantage of.


Has someone started the conversation in your community? Is it about time? Please comment your thoughts below or visit