The Allegany County Library System and the Allegany County Chapter of the NAACP are co-hosting the second annual “Taste of Civility” at the LaVale Library on Thursday, December 12th at 60 p.m.

The event will include an open mic portion and attendees are encouraged to share stories, music, and poetry. Attendees may also bring a food dish from their culture to share with the group.

In December 2018, more than 120 locals gathered to experience a “Taste of Civility” at the LaVale Library, one of the libraries in the Allegany County Library System. The goal of the event was to celebrate and learn about the different cultures represented in our community. Attending were locals with roots in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hawaii, Africa, Hungary, Israel, Ireland, Italy, China and more. The evening was marked by an array of live musical numbers, profound stories, poetry and food representing each culture. .

“We were blown away with the turn-out last year for the first Taste of Civility,” says Lindsay Lindsay, of the Allegany County Historical Society which supports the event and the programming. “There were so many cultures represented in Allegany County through food, music and spoken word. We're looking forward to coming together again.”

Taste of Civility is part of the Choose Civility: Allegany County initiative, a grassroots plan to improve and enrich Allegany County by promoting civil conversations and kindness toward others. Choose Civility is an ongoing community-wide initiative, introduced in Maryland in 2017 by the Howard County Library System, to position Howard County, Maryland as a model of civility.

“Valuing diversity, we choose respect, compassion, empathy, and inclusiveness as essential to our quality of life,” says Renee Warnick-Mason, one of the local coordinators of the event. “We invite all within our community, as well as other communities around the nation, to participate.”

Following the model established two years ago, Choose Civility: Allegany County has also adopted 15 guiding ideas and principles: Pay attention, listen, speak kindly, assume the best, respect others’ opinions, respect other people’s time and space, be inclusive, acknowledge others, accept and give praise, apologize earnestly, assert yourself, take responsibility, accept and give constructive criticism, refrain from idle complaints, and be a considerate guest.

The model also suggests program components, including community events, classes, activities, marketing tools, and partnering strategies. This event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

For more information, about the Taste of Civility event, contact jhowell@alleganycountylibrary.info or call 301-777-1200.

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