Rockhurst Hosts Inaugural Civility Awards CeremonyNovember 13, 2012

People of goodwill can find ways to bring others together across all sorts of boundaries. That’s the lesson of the first-ever Consensus civility award winners.

Consensus, a nonprofit organization geared towards people and communities address public issues, presented the awards at a breakfast from November 13, at Rockhurst University’s Greenlease Library at Rockhurst University.

Nick Haines, executive producer and public affairs director for Kansas City Public Television, served as the breakfast event’s emcee. The Consensus board selected the following individuals and companies, nominated by people from throughout the metro, to receive the award:

  • Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver and Kevin Yoder (Government)
  • Greg Graves, chief executive officer of Burns & McDonnell (For-profit)
  • Carol Grimaldi, executive director of Brush Creek Community Partners (Nonprofit)
  • The Kansas City Star, for its new policy that eliminates anonymous comments (Process)
  • Father Norman Rotert, retired priest, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph (Lifetime achievement)

“When we decided to seek nominations and make these awards, the board wanted to encourage the kind of civility that doesn’t squelch conflict, but that gives people a voice and helps them work together across boundaries,” Charles Renner, Consensus board president and a partner with Husch Blackwell said. “We could not be more pleased with this inaugural group of award winners.”

Since 1984, Consensus has provided the research, process, and safe, neutral space where people can come together to deal with difficult issues. In 2009, concerned with the rancor of the health care town hall meetings, Consensus launched The Civility Project. The goal was to improve the processes used to engage the public so that they encourage us to be our best selves. The project so far has included a series of focus groups to identify public attitudes about public meetings, a one-day class on how to design meetings to increase civility, and two public forums, one of which was filmed and broadcast on KCPT Public Television.

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