Civility Week Community Agreement

We come together during Civility Week to enhance our understanding of, and learn more about, the meaning and importance of civility. We commit to honest, brave, respectful conversation, where participants are encouraged to speak openly, listen actively, embrace curiosity and gather wisdom. Together, we will strive to:

Learn and grow

Listen and understand

Recognize that experiences are perceived

Acknowledge where power and privilege exist; and

Provide space for all voices to share

Civility Statement

Brookdale Community College is committed to freedom of expression while maintaining a civil and ethical learning environment. We believe that a community composed of people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and abilities promotes learning and engagement. We are responsible for treating one another with respect and kindness regardless of our differences.”

Civility Week Spring 2024


Sustainability: Conversations and Considerations

February 19 – 23, 2024


Embark on transformative civil conversations and lively discourses during our Spring 2024 Civility Week at Brookdale Community College. Aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals, this impactful week-long event delves into a variety of topics addressing economics, ecological justice, and well-being among others that address the urgent global and local challenges surrounding sustainability.

Through engaging conversations, illuminating panel discussions, and hands-on workshops participants will explore the intricacies of sustainable practices. We enthusiastically invite students, faculty, staff and the greater community at large to join us as we embark upon this collective. Our aim is to strengthen civil discourse as we question, explore and come to understand diverse perspectives on sustainability complex issues.

Mark your calendars and register early for Civility Week events available throughout the week of February 19-23, 2024. Let us come together to make a positive impact and contributions to a sustainable future for all.

Schedule of 2024 Spring Events

Monday, February 19, 2024
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Middle of the Ocean
Presented by: Professor Laura McCullough

It’s a given that the confluence of technological advancement, global warming, the pandemic, and American cultural and political changes are creating an environment in which an individual can feel overwhelmed, dislocated. This may be why deaths by despair (suicide or overdose) have increased dramatically in the last several years. What are the pressures on individuals, especially on young people? And what are some ways to “not drown” by developing a sense of belonging, worthiness, purpose, hope? Can one develop skills to adapt to the choppy seas we find ourselves in? It’s not just a matter of “sink or swim”. This discussion will reference Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and updated version: how to keep your boat afloat.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Healthcare and Maternity Leave: International Students’ Perspectives
Presented by: Members from the International Student Association, International Education Center

International students will host a panel discussion on their country’s policies regarding access to healthcare and maternity leave.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Healthy and Sustainable Diets: Food Access and Behavior Change
Presenters: Dr. Rajkumari Wesley, Professor of Psychology and Faculty Coordinator, Global Citizenship Distinction Program; GCD
Student Panalists: Eden Pela, Morena Traditi and Sergio Nino

Many diets focus on weight loss and improving overall health, but have you ever considered adopting a diet that promotes environmental health too? Learning how to eat sustainably can benefit your health, your budget, and the planet. For a diet to be considered sustainable, food should be produced in a way that protects the environment and has a low impact on biodiversity, ecosystems, and natural resources. A sustainable diet should also be “nutritionally adequate, safe, healthy, culturally acceptable and economically affordable.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2024
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Ecology & Justice Project
Presented by: The Office of Government Affairs and Community Relations Environment, Land, Liberation

Ecology & Sustainability Project with Movement Generation. Environment, Land, Liberation. We will dive into the Just Transition framework-a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.

Hosted by: CCOG Angela Kariotis, Director Diversity & Inclusion/CCOG

Thursday, February 22, 2024

11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Cultivating Personal Sustainability Through Mental Wellness
Presented by: The Wellness Center and Associate Professor Marlene Frank

Personal sustainability, within the context of mental health and wellness, refers to the ability of an individual to maintain a state of balanced well-being, resilience, and self-care over time. It involves consciously nurturing the dimensions of wellness within one’s self to achieve harmony and long-term vitality. Incorporating personal sustainability means adopting practices that support mental and emotional equilibrium, even when faced with challenges, stressors, and changes. Within this panel discussion, led by Brookdale employees and various community members, we will explore how to build personal sustainability and resilience to cultivate a positive wellbeing.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

How College U.S. History Courses Can Help Us Sustain American Democracy
Presented by: Members from the History Department at Brookdale Community College

In his 1962 publication What is History? Edward Hallett Carr states, “The historian without his facts is rootless and futile; the facts without their historian are dead and meaningless.” Centering their presentation on this notion, that history is a conversation between the past and the present, several Brookdale History Department faculty will use examples and activities to help the audience see how historical study can build skills and knowledge we all need to sustain American democracy today.

Friday, February 23, 2024
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The Experiential Democracy Dialogue: A Depth Approach to Social Healing
Presented by: Dr Kirk Schneider; 2022 Candidate for President of the American Psychological Association (APA); Adjunct Faculty, Saybrook University and Teachers College, Columbia University; President of the Existential-Humanistic Institute
In case you missed it:

Dr. Kirk Schneider, a leading spokesperson for existential-humanistic and existential-integrative psychology will introduce and demonstrate his Experiential Democracy Dialogue method, based on his work in recent years to promote cultural and political depolarization. The deep, pernicious, widespread, and dangerous polarization in our societies and world may be one of the most socially and psychologically urgent issues we face right now, and Dr. Schneider posits that it is urgent to address from the standpoint of depth and existentially oriented healing. The Experiential Democracy Dialogue aims to foster a conversation between people who identify as being at opposite ends of an ideological binary. Dr. Schneider will introduce his approach, and then facilitate a live demonstration of it with two people who identify with contrasting sides of a contemporary issue. He will then invite the audience for audience for a brief Q & A on the presentation. It is important to note that the aim of the dialogue is not to debate, but to help us re-humanize our ideological “opponents,” so that we enhance the likelihood of achieving actionable common ground, and if not common ground on policies at the least common ground in regard to broadening our capacity to get along with one another.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The Different Meanings of Law, Morals and Justice: Accepting and Understanding Each Other
Presented by: Professor Joseph Zavaglia
In case you missed it:

The concepts of “what is fair” varies from person to person, situation to situation and often is fueled by a misunderstanding of the three separate concepts of Law, Morals, and Justice. For example, the recent case of Dobbs v. Jackson WHO as it applies to the historical application of judicial philosophy and precedents. Whether the recent United States Supreme Court ruling/review (Dobbs v. Jackson WHO) regarding Roe v. Wade was the dismantling of 50 years of legal precedent or the reinstatement of the previous 150 years of law, understanding the roots of this procedure is crucial in not only understanding the Supreme Court but helpful, if not essential, when discussing current legal issues and the role of the Court. and more importantly acknowledging and accepting different opinions.


Civility Week Subcommittee for Student Development Committee, Governance
Ave Latte, Professor, Education
Marcia Finn, Confidential Coordinator, Office of the President and Board
Will Ryan, Instructor, Languages
Beth Boylan, Professor, Psychology
Alex Idavoy, Associate Professor Languages
Theresa Agostinelli, Adjunct Librarian, LibGuide creator
Student Development Committee, Brookdale Governance
Brookdale Community College Office of Government Affairs, Community Relations
Angela Kariotis, Director of Diversity and Inclusion/CCOG
Brookdale Marketing and College Relations
Laura Oncea, Director of Communications

The Civility Research Guide created by Theresa Agostinelli provides links to books, articles, websites, videos, and databases related to civility. The LibGuide supports presentation topics and Open Conversation events. LINK to Civility Week LibGuide.

Civility Week is Sponsored by the Brookdale Foundation

Michele McBride, 90.5 the night, talks with Dr. Ave Latte discussing Brookdale’s Civility Week