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CIVILITY MATTERS: A guide to discussing racism and injustice

HOUSTON – Protests happening across the country are sparking conversations everywhere.

Having open conversations about racial injustice can be difficult and sometimes uncomfortable.

If you're feeling unsure about what to say or what to post online during these times, you're not alone.

Etiquette experts Monica and Darian Lewis with The Monica Lewis School of Etiquette share the importance of civility and how to have respectful discussions.

WHAT IS CIVILITY AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?

Civility is the practice of extending basic politeness, kindness, and respect to all citizens of society. It’s the basis for common courtesy.

SCENARIO #1: MY FRIENDS ARE POSTING AND SPEAKING OUT, & THEY ARE URGING THAT I DO THE SAME. BUT I’M NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY OR POST. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You shouldn’t be pressured into making a statement or joining a movement of any kind. But here’s what you should do.

GET THE FACTS

Read articles, books, and posts from reputable news outlets to further educate yourself on current events & gain a historical perspective.

GET INVOLVED

Volunteer or support organizations and causes that align with your values. Ex. (ACLU, Black Lives Matter, or Political Cause).

VOTE YOUR VOICE

This is the most powerful way to make an impact through policy changes on all levels (City, State, and Federal).

SCENARIO #2: PROTESTS, RIOTS, BLACK LIVES MATTER VS. ALL LIVES MATTER, HOW DO I DISCUSS THIS WITH FRIENDS OR PEOPLE IN GENERAL?

Use this acronym T.A.C.T. Remember the saying “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” That’s a quick and simple definition of TACT. Before you respond or jump into a debate apply TACT.

T - Test for Diplomacy. Before you say it, ask yourself, ‘Is this necessary, kind or true?’

A - Ask questions to get clarity and understanding

C - Communicate with EMPATHY

T - Take time to listen

THE MONICA LEWIS SCHOOL OF ETIQUETTE

Is offering virtual classes for children and parents. For more information, click here.


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