Around 2010 Springfield, Missouri had a difficult time coming to terms with conversations that were civil and productive. A group of citizens from different local interested parties joined together to create Be Civil Be Heard (BCBH). The organization was founded on the Ten Tenets of Civility. The Ten Tenets of Civility were painstakingly created over the course of several months, by stakeholders in the community.
Civility is thought to stop conversations, not start them. BCBH is here to change that. After the city council and other influential groups became civil and used the tenets of civility, Be Civil Be Heard became dormant. In 2016, the need arose again with a very divisive presidential, but BCBH was not around to take part in the conversation for understanding. Soon after, The Center for Community Engagement was asked to run Be Civil Be Heard.
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks was instrumental in creating BCBH and they were the reason that the Center for Community Engagement decided to take on the task of managing the organization. Currently Be Civil Be Heard is focused on introducing civility education to a whole new generation of students and citizens.
BCBH is administered out of the Center for Community Engagement at Missouri State University by Dr. Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk, alongside a diverse advisory board. Be Civil Be Heard is no longer "just about civility," but instead, is involved in civic engagement, civic education, and plays a role in civility building within our community, to build a healthier democracy.
Be Civil Be Heard has had the privilege of working with different organizations on a variety of events.
Ozark Middle School and Central High School
Arts in the Park Summer Workshop with SRAC
Empower Missouri and Community Partners and Members
Community Discussion over Gun Safety, October 2017
Information Press Panel, February 2017
Congressional Debate, Fall 2016