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International Civility Awareness Month – May 2024

We observe International Civility Awareness Month every May with the aim to raise awareness on the decline of civility around the world. It is said that civility is a key component in our overall image and plays a huge role in our day-to-day interactions. Incivility is becoming a matter of concern with regard to how people conduct themselves in social and professional situations. This month, we should not only spread awareness on civility but practice it in our own lives. 

History of International Civility Awareness Month

International Civility Awareness Month is only a little older than a decade, being established in 2010 by the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). It was inspired by Dr. P.M. Forni, a professor specializing in civility at Johns Hopkins University and author of “Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct.” The idea of raising awareness for civility was put forward in 2008 by AICI’s Yasmin Anderson-Smith, Carole Ann Lyons, and Katherine Wurzburg, along with the marketing committee of AICI.

Civility has one golden rule, which is to treat others how you would like them to treat you. All individuals should remember this and practice it in their personal and professional behavior towards others. Civility is important if we want harmony, grace, kindness, and dignity at our homes and offices. Civility impacts our image, enhances our communication, paves the way for leadership, and impacts external perception and our relationships with others.

The project was officially kicked off at the annual conference of AICI in 2009. Dr. Forni, the inspiration behind the project, was presented with the industry’s highest honor, AICI’s IMMIE Bravo Award. Additionally, the first Civility Proclamation was unveiled, which declared May 13 as Los Angeles Civility Awareness Day. Additionally, the proclamation program, started by Carole Ann Lyons and Katherine Wurzburg, was expanded globally and organized by Deborah King.

The project, which was initiated in 2009, has been secured as an ongoing global activity and, since then, several businesses, communities, and organizations across the world celebrate May as Civility Awareness Month.

International Civility Awareness Month timeline

Civility as an Idea

Yasmin Anderson-Smith, Carole Ann Lyons, and Katherine Wurzburg, along with the AICI marketing committee start the idea to raise awareness for civility.

AICI Annual Conference

The Civility Project officially kicks off at the AICI annual conference.


The AICI’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, celebrates the inaugural International Civility Awareness Month.

Founding Members Awarded

AICI awards certificates to the founding members of the Civility Counts Project and extends their gratitude for the civility initiative at the international conference in Hawaii.

International Civility Awareness Month FAQs

What do people do during Civility Awareness Month?

It is a month-long period in which people understand the importance of civility, spread awareness about it, and also imbibe this quality within themselves. 

What is the 31-Day Civility Challenge?

Civility experts have come up with an easy 31-Day Civility Challenge that is presented in a fun calendar-like infographic that lists out one civil activity to carry out each day. Anyone who wishes to observe Civility Awareness Month or bring about civility in their lives in general can use the challenge as a guide.

Who started International Civility Awareness Month?

The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) initiated International Civility Awareness Month inspired by Dr. P. M. Forni, a professor specializing in civility at Johns Hopkins University and author of “Choosing Civility: The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct.” 

How to Observe International Civility Awareness Month

  1. Take up the 31-Day Civility Challenge

    You don’t have to go out on a limb to celebrate civility. Take up the 31-Day Civility Challenge, which includes small tasks to do daily like saying hello to five people, being polite on your transit, smiling at others, avoiding profanity, to name a few. These small actions can go a long way in strengthening your overall development and building your image.

  2. Start an online gratitude journal

    One of the key factors of civility is being grateful towards others and the things we have. It can be a meditative and fun task to document a few things you’re grateful for every day and share them with your friends and family on your social media. This could inspire others to be grateful for the things in their lives and lead to civility awareness. You can use the hashtags #CivilityBeginsWithMe or #InspireCivility to amplify your efforts and make it into a movement.

  3. Sign up for a civility training class

    Don’t know how to bring about a change in your life? Now’s a good time to sign up for a civility training class where you can learn the importance of civility and how to incorporate it into your life. What’s even better is that you won’t be alone in the class and you will have company on this journey.

5 Important Facts About Civility That You Should Know

  1. It fosters empathy

    Practicing civility can actually help you become a more empathic person.

  2. It helps to dissociate from negative emotions

    When you become more civil, you are able to view situations more objectively, which can help you seperate yourself from negative emotions.

  3. It makes you logical and fair

    Being civil can help you debate and reason with logic and fairness and prevent you from lashing out.

  4. It makes you a kinder person

    Imbibing civility in your daily life will make you a kinder person towards others.

  5. It makes you optimistic

    Being civil towards others will eventually instill optimism within you and make you feel much better about external situations.

Why International Civility Awareness Month is Important

  1. Civility fosters respect

    International Civility Awareness Month is important to make people aware that civility costs nothing and buys everything. Each person wants to be treated fairly and with mutual respect. Civility is a small step that can go a long way in fostering and nurturing a respectful environment and relationships.

  2. Civility enhances one's professional image

    Civility is a vital aspect that impacts one’s professional image. It also reflects an organization's overall brand reputation and goodwill. International Civility Awareness Month reminds people that civility is an important factor to think about when analyzing how others perceive your brand or company.

  3. Civility influences success

    Civility and success go hand-in-hand. This success could be in your work, home, or social setup. Being civil inevitably leads to a more successful and content life. International Civil Awareness Month is a good time to remind ourselves about this humble virtue that we all can imbibe in our lives.

International Civility Awareness Month dates

2024May 1Wednesday
2025May 1Thursday
2026May 1Friday
2027May 1Saturday
2028May 1Monday
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