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WCI Honored For Fostering Civil Discussion

WCI Honored For Fostering Civil Discussion

Wallace Centers of Iowa is winner of the 2011 Better Together Award. WCI works to build better relations between rural and urban communities, and promotes civil discussion of issues.

The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines announced April 27 that The Wallace Centers of Iowa is this year's winner of the foundation's "Better Together Award" for organizations. The award is given to one organization and one individual in the Des Moines area who are building social capital in the community. Bruce Bernard, president of the Urbandale Community Action Network, received the individual honor.

On hand to accept the Better Together Award at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines luncheon recently are (left to right) WCI board secretary Marion James of Creston, board treasurer Christine Halbrook of Des Moines, board chair Willard Olesen of Greenfield, WCI founder Ann Wallace Fleming of Des Moines, president

The Wallace Centers of Iowa received the award because of its efforts to continue the work of the Better Together—Creating Community through Civility speaker series. WCI hosted five Civility Dialogue Lunches that built on an earlier lecture in Des Moines by Dr. P.M. Forni, author of "Choosing Civility."

The lunches included a community speaker who focused on Forni's 25 Rules for Considerate Conduct and allowed for in-depth discussion about civility among dialogue participants. Participants were asked to share civility experiences, sign a Pledge of Civility, and adopt the principles into everyday life. WCI also developed "Everyday Civility," a new two-hour seminar promoting civility in the workplace.

Addressing the basic issues of civility is a Wallace family legacy

"This recognition is a humbling honor in light of the other three finalists, but all of us are addressing the basic issues related to treating our neighbors, friends, co-workers, family and strangers with respect, dignity and kindness. This is the Wallace family legacy that The Wallace Centers of Iowa is privileged to move forward," said Diane Weiland, president & CEO of WCI. The award includes a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation to advance WCI's civility efforts.

Other organization finalists included AMOS—A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy, Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, and Meals from the Heartland. Individual Finalists included Barb Allen, board president of Partnership for a Healthy Community; Mark Heppner, executive director of Salisbury House & Gardens; and Matt McGarvey, director of The Wellmark Foundation.

The Wallace Centers of Iowa's two locations include the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center in rural Orient in Adair County and the Wallace House in Des Moines. Together, the two historic sites provide educational programs and community services, produce organic fruits and vegetables, and offer lunches at The Gathering Table Café on the Henry A. Wallace Birthplace farm near Orient.

For more information about the Wallace Centers of Iowa and its activities, go to

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