SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) Global Conference held recently in Vancouver, British Columbia, was a celebration of civility. The Civility Counts Project was first launched during the 2009 conference held in Irvine, CA, and on display was a single official proclamation from the city of Los Angeles declaring one day in May Civility Awareness Day. One year later, AICI members unveiled 40 official proclamations, declaring the entire month of May as International Civility Awareness Month, as a recognized event published in the Annual Events Bible, Chase's Calendar of Events (McGraw Hill).
United States proclamations were secured from the states of Maryland and Oklahoma, and from cities in the states of Texas, Washington, Ohio, California, Virginia and Maryland. Prominent organizations also weighed in with their support, including the Girl Scouts of America, Rotary Club, Emily Post Institute, several members of Congress, a chamber of commerce, a high school and a university, to name a few. Internationally, proclamations came from Canada, the Philippines, Jamaica and Japan.
"This was AICI's first annual grass-roots effort to spread the word about civility,'' states Yasmin Anderson-Smith, AICI CIP, who chairs the Civility Counts Project. It has been a year-long effort to educate our global members, who are located in more than 40 countries, to embrace civility as a way to boost their image business. Based in the greater Washington, D.C. area and founder of the nonprofit, Girls for a Change, Anderson-Smith is both an etiquette and civility expert. "The Civility Counts Project was inspired by Dr. P.M. Forni, author of Choosing Civility - The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct (St. Martin's Griffin, 2002) and cofounder of the Civility Project at Johns Hopkins University.
Just what is civility and what does it mean? Forni defines it as a code of conduct based on the 3 Rs: Respect, Restraint and Responsibility. Deborah King, AICI CIP, who is behind the proclamation-gathering process, says: "Incivility is rampant in our global society, and has reached epidemic proportions. We see it in government, in sports, in the air and on the road. What we are trying to do is raise awareness that civility is good business and enhances the quality of our lives no matter where in the world we live or work.'' Founder of the Final Touch Finishing School, headquartered in both Dallas, TX and Seattle, WA, King was pleasantly surprised to see how eagerly the city officials she approached wanted to climb on the civility awareness bandwagon. "They recognize that civility has been absent in our schools, communities and in families everywhere. Each and every year going forward, AICI members will spread the word about civility in every corner of the world where we have a presence one proclamation at a time.''
Another civility component has been added to the Civility Counts Project: the Civility Star Award. "During this conference, we awarded our first Canadian Civility Star to Manitoba-based Lewena Bayer, the founder and executive director of The Center of Cultural Competence and The Civility Experts,'' adds Anderson-Smith. "Lewena's expertise in civility in the workplace has made a difference. She epitomizes outstanding leadership leading to the betterment of society."
AICI, the Source for Image Professionals in Education, Experience and Excellence, is the leading and largest professional association of personal and corporate image consultants worldwide. A nonprofit organization, AICI is dedicated to advancing the level of professionalism and enhancing the recognition of image consultants. On the Web at www.aici.org.
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SOURCE Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)