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A woman who serves as executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse will be one of the featured speakers at the third annual World Civility Day on April 12.

Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, who holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University, heads up an organization that works to reduce political dysfunction and incivility in our political system.

World Civility Day, which is hosted by Community Civility Counts, will include a full day of civility-themed activities at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond followed by an awards dinner at night at Avalon Manor in Hobart.

Community Civility Counts started as an initiative of the Gary Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee and has expanded to include many partners both locally and nationally. It was launched in 2015 at a news conference at Gary City Hall, Gary Chamber Executive Director Chuck Hughes said.

“As the executive director of the Gary Chamber of Commerce and speaking on behalf of our board of directors, I am elated over the scope and success of the Community Civility Counts initiative,” Chuck Hughes said.

“We could not have envisioned early on that CCC would now be recognized in several areas of the world.”

Hughes said there will be several civility-themed workshops, including anti-bullying and civility at the workplace, held during the day at the Indiana Welcome Center.

The dinner at Avalon Manor will include entertainment, featured speakers and awards presented by Community Civility Counts.

Lukensmeyer, in addition to serving as executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, served as a founder and president of AmericaSpeaks, consultant to the White House chief of staff from 1993-94 and on the National Performance Review where she steered internal management and oversaw government-wide reforms.

Times Publisher Christopher White said: "Community Civility Counts has developed into a wonderful event and a great partnership with the Gary Chamber of Commerce. It has been rewarding to be part of this event."

In its first World Civility Day event, held on April 14, 2016, it was sold out with 300 people from Indiana and nine other states and three countries, Hughes said.

UN Ambassador Clyde Rivers gave the keynote address and returned last year to present civility awards.

"It's expected that Dr. Rivers will return to this year's event," Hughes said.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill was the keynote speaker at last year's event.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. on April 11 to declare April 12 World Civility Day, Hughes said.

"I want to make Northwest Indiana the civility capital of the world," Hughes said.

Sponsorships and tickets for the April 12 World Civility Day activities are available through the Gary Chamber of Commerce at 219-885-7407. Tickets — $90 VIP for all World Civility Day events, $30 for the afternoon lunch and workshops ($15 for students), $70 for the dinner ($650 for a table of 10) — can be obtained by calling the chamber.

To follow the activities of Community Civility Counts, visit and like the Civility Counts page on Facebook.

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