While our civilization continues to advance, our capacity to live civilly―to appreciate our common humanity with empathy and humility―ironically dwindles daily. Even as we become more technologically connected, many of us feel increasingly disconnected and disengaged from each other.
This session offers an opportunity to learn about the history, substance, and significance of civility through the lens of George Washington’s “Rules of Civility.” Drawing on personal experience, real-life examples, and a foundational belief that civility is integral to a democratic society, Shelby Scarbrough shares how we might work toward a more perfect union by building a personal practice of civility.
Civility is not an archaic concept of manners and politeness (go look up Emily Post for that) but rather a crucial component of a functioning democracy. Shelby shows us how―with conscientious practice and patience―we can each contribute to preserving our democracy, one interaction at a time.
Shelby learned the importance and nuances of civility at her first job as a Presidential Trip Coordinator in President Ronald Reagan’s White House Office of Presidential Advance. Shelby had the privilege of being part of the team coordinating appearances for President Reagan, including the 1988 Reagan–Gorbachev Summit in Moscow, the Statue of Liberty’s Centennial Celebration with President Mitterrand of France, and a meeting of the NATO Alliance in Brussels.
She went on to work in the US Department of State as a protocol officer. Upon President Reagan’s death, Shelby served as the Deputy Lead in Washington, DC for the State Funeral. You’ll hear stories of riding in Air Force One, how to greet a Prime Minister, what it’s like to be surrounded by diplomats – and the importance of civility.
Shelby can present this topic in many formats.