Civic Saturday is a national program that brings together people across a specific region to nurture a spirit of shared purpose around our nation’s creeds of liberty, equality and self-government.
Moore County’s second Civic Saturday event will be held Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at Pinehurst Village Hall, 395 Magnolia Road.
Susan Southard, a Southern Pines-based nonfiction author, is spearheading the event, which will focus on “Facing the Climate Crisis: Urgency, Action and Hope.”
“If there was ever a nonpartisan issue, this is it. The climate crisis affects everyone. It does not discriminate between nations, or genders or race, or socioeconomic status,” Southard said.
The event is free and open to the public, and will include music, readings from American civic literature, a civic address presented by Southard on the climate crisis, and community dialogue.
“We will consider the realities of the climate crisis and how they relate to our democracy. The community dialogue will give people a chance to reflect on what it means to them, and whether they want to engage or not with it,” Southard said.
Civic literature readings will be presented by Ernestine Chapman, of Aberdeen, and Bob O’Loughlin, of Pinehurst.
“The purpose of this event is to explore what our values are as it relates to the climate crisis,” she added. “These are hard questions. It is not superficial. These issues affect what choices we make in life.”
Citizen University, a Seattle-based nonprofit with a national platform of fostering responsible and empowered citizenship, launched the Civic Saturday program in 2018. Founder Eric Liu said through training people to lead these events around the country, the program struck a chord.
“In a time when politics is so fiercely polarized, we want to appreciate anew the simple phenomenon of democratic citizenship,” he said.
Southard, author of “Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War,” was one of a small group of fellows selected by Citizen University to receive specialized training to bring this program to different parts of the nation. Moore County is one of 28 regions across the United States where Civic Saturdays are taking place.
“Civic Saturdays are meant to help us practice being together as citizens; that is, as diverse individuals willing to show up in public life together,” Southard said. “The theme for the upcoming event is the climate crisis, one of the most urgent and also contentious realities in our civic life.
“My hope is to explore America’s core civic creeds and the meanings and moral questionings they bring to this critical topic, and provide a space for dialogue, understanding and shared responses.”
Contact Laura Douglass at (910) 693-2474 or email@example.com.