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World Civility Day Logo 2017

While ugly rhetoric continues defining our national political scene, Northwest Indiana should be proud of an ever-growing movement embracing civility.

Earlier this week, the Gary Chamber of Commerce and The Times Media Co. announced the second-annual World Civility Day, slated for April 13 at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond and Merrillville's Avalon Manor.

The civility-based partnership has rapidly expanded since its 2015 founding, winning the Associated Press Media Editors' Innovator of the Year Award for 2016.

The effort, which asks members and participants — including public officials — to pledge civility in public discourse also garnered the 2016 Lee President's Spirit Award from The Times' parent corporation, Lee Enterprises.

Such momentum of people choosing to treat each other with respect and dignity couldn't come at a more important time for our Region, nation or world.

Last year's World Civility Day events sold out, with 300 people — from Indiana, nine other states and three other countries — participating in civility-themed activities, workshops and a banquet.

Its doors are open again this year to whomever believes civility an integral part of a functional society.

The April 13 event will kick off with lunch and workshops at the Welcome Center. Workshop themes will include civility in the classroom and workplace civility.

A dinner at Avalon Manor will include speakers and the first awards presented by Community Civility Counts. The National Civility Center is a partner and sponsor this year.

Sponsorships and tickets for the event are available through the Gary Chamber of Commerce at 219-885-7404. Tickets are $25 for the lunch and workshops and $60 for the dinner.

Please join us to maintain momentum for this important movement.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.