The Greater Akron Civility Center

hosted by
The Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

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Featured Programming

International Visitors hosted by Global Ties Akron

In meetings with international visitors, J. Cherie Strachan provides an overview of the role civility plays in facilitating deliberation across political differences, which is essential in a stable democracy. She also explains how participation in deliberative decision-making cultivates average citizens' intrinsic civic identity and sense of civic duty, which increases their long-term engagement in politics and public life.  She also provides concrete examples of best practices drawn from student-led deliberative discussion sessions on campus.    

  • Youth and Civic Engagement (Nov. 20, 2023) - Delegates from Berkina Faso, Camroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, Morocco, Togo, Uganda and Zambia (see picture above).
  • 21st Century Changemakers: Building Resilience to Disinformation and Foreign Malign Influence: A Sub-Regional Project for Europe (Oct. 5, 2023) - Delegates from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Kosovo, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, and Serbia.
  • Young Leaders RISE - Renew, Inspire, Serve, and Empower (Oct. 3, 2023) - Delegates from Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.
  • Advocating for Democracy (Aug. 18, 2023) - Delegates from Belarus.
  • U.S. Elections and Civic Engagement (May 5, 2023) - Delegates from Poland.
  • Not Too Young to Run - Engaging Youth in the Political Process (Feb. 20, 2023) - Delegates from Belarus, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Paraguay, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, and Zimbabwe.
  • Inclusiveness in Elections (July 19, 2022) - Delegates from Poland.

Global Ties Akron is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that links local and international communities by building networks and friendships to promote understanding of work harmony.  Their programs strengthen academic, corporate, organizational, and personal ties between Northeast Ohio and the World.

Deliberative Discussion Class Sessions

Recognizing the importance of civility in democratic decision-making, The Ray C. Bliss Institute at the University of Akron and the UA Political Science Department collaborate to embed deliberative discussion sessions into introductory courses on U.S. government.  Guided by funded graduate students enrolled in Bliss' Master of Applied Politics program, undergraduates meet in small groups four times throughout the semester.  They use this time to tackle current, contested political issues -- and are graded solely on their ability to engage in civil deliberation while they develop consensus solutions.  This classroom activity not only highlights civility as an invaluable political skill but is a best practice for cultivating civic identity, as those who engage in reason-giving and deliberation tend to become public-spirited citizens who continue to embrace civic and political participation throughout their lives. 

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To set standards for civility; provide resources to promote civility and prevent incivility; coordinate an annual summit celebrating civility; and, most importantly, create a culture of civility in the Greater Akron community.

Civility Standards

  • Listen.
  • Seek truth.
  • Show respect.
  • Words matter.
  • Act with integrity.
  • Appreciate differences.
  • Seek constructive engagement.
  • Base differing opinions on common facts.

Civility begins with you and ends with all of us.
Through listening to our differences we find a common way.

Advisory Committee Members

  • Dr. John Green
    Director Emeritus Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, Distinguished Professor of Political Science
  • Ms. Carla L. Chapman
    Director of Community Relations, Akron Public Schools
  • Ms. Greta Johnson
    Assistant Chief of Staff and Public Information Officer
    Office of Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro
  • Coach Kemp Boyd
    Executive Director, Love Akron
  • Mr. Bruce Winges
    Former Editor and Vice President, Akron Beacon Journal and
  • Mr. Joe Tucker
    Executive Director, South Street Ministries
  • Dr. Matthew P. Akers
    Public Liaison, Office of the President, The University of Akron
    Associate Director, Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics

Watch the ceremony


Contact Dr. J. Cherie Strachan, Bliss Institute Director, at