Fund for Civility
When I made a blog post earlier this month about the Ben's Bell's Project in Tucson, Arizona, I came across another organization in the Tucson area that touched me. Like Ben's Bell's, the Fund for Civility uses love and understanding to help heal after a period of loss.
There is something very powerful about a community coming together to cope with tragedy. After the OKC bombing in 1995, as an OKC resident at that time, I remember the sense of unity and the feeling of shared grief the city experienced. We leaned on one another. Ron Barber and his family created the Fund for Civility last August as a result of the outpouring of good will they'd received after Ron was shot in the Tucson shooting last year. Ron and his family wanted not only to honor the people who died, the survivors and the citizens heroes who came to their aid, but wished to focus on building healthier communities to help heal from the experience of the shooting.
The Fund for Civility organization supports programs in schools, churches, and the political arenas that encourage understanding differences respect for different points of view. The fund also works to increase awareness of mental health symptoms, prevention and treatment in hopes of averting a violent outcome of mental illness gone unchecked.
In today's often volatile political climate, promoting civility and respect in public discourse, schools and the community is more important than ever. The Fund for Civility's focus on eliminating mental health stigma (the perpetrator of the shooting was found to have schizophrenia and declared mentally incompetent to stand trial) intends to make a positive impact on not only the local but global community.