Embrace Civility

Empower Students to Embrace Civility

Empower Students Embrace Civility is a research-based student empowerment program that is focused on students in the intermediate, middle school, and high school grades. The objectives of Empower Students Embrace Civility are to:

  • Engage all members of the school community in establishing a positive school climate that embraces kindness, inclusion, and civility.
  • Increase the effectiveness of school staff in discussing positive relations with students, responding to what appears to be minor hurtful incidents in a restorative and empowering manner, and identifying more serious or chronic situations.
  • Increase the effectiveness of principals in investigating and intervening in the more serious or chronic situations in a manner that is restorative, supports the empowerment of all involved students, and ensures ongoing monitoring until all parties indicate the matter has been resolved.
  • Empower students to embrace kindness, inclusion, and civility using a positive norms and student leadership approach that fosters positive behavior and increases student skills as a witness, the one being hurtful, or the one treated badly.


An Introduction document is available. An introductory video is forthcoming.

Workshop or Webinar

Empower Students to Embrace Civility provides insight for educators:

  • Guidance for school climate leaders on why current bullying prevention approaches are not effective and research-based strategies to achieve a more positive school climate that fosters positive relations.
  • Guidance for school staff on strategies to effectively provide discuss these issues with students, and to effectively respond when they witness hurtful incidents or hurtful incidents are reported to them.
  • Guidance for principals on strategies to effectively investigate and intervene in a positive and restorative manner to the more serious situations.

Empower Students to Embrace Civility is launched with a 3-hour workshop or webinar. This workshop or webinar must be video-taped or recorded because access must be made available to all members of school-based school climate teams (principals, counselors/social workers/psychologists, and special education).

An email discussion group should be established so that questions can be posed and answered and issues can be discussed. Nancy Willard, Director of Embrace Civility in the digital Age, will remain in this discussion group for at least a month.

The additional resources include:

  • Empower Students to Embrace Civility. Extensive document for school climate leaders that provides research insight.
  • Fostering Positive Relations. Document and slideshow providing key instructional insight both for staff and student leaders.
  • Effective Staff Responses to Hurtful Incidents. Document, infographic, and slideshow for staff training.
  • Tier II or III Resources for Investigating and Intervening in Serious or Chronic Situations. Guidance, investigation template, positive action plan, and accountability approach.

It is anticipated that after participating in the workshop/webinar, school leadership can use the Fostering Positive Relations and Effective Staff Responses to Hurtful Incidents to provide necessary staff training to support instruction of students and initial interventions. 

The professional development approach has been designed to allow for the low cost delivery of necessary information to staff, who have a range of responsibilities, in a way that has a higher likelihood of success. Additional consulting services will be available.

Embrace Civility

The student program, Embrace Civility, will help students gain critical important personal relationship skills in five key areas:

  • Reach Out. Be kind to those who are treated badly or left out and help resolve conflict.
  • Say “Stop.” Help those who are hurtful stop, accept personal responsibility, and remedy the harm.
  • Report Concerns. Report serious concerns to an adult who can help.
  • Stop, Own it, and Fix It. If you were hurtful, stop yourself and remedy the harm.
  • Be Positively Powerful. Respond effectively if someone is hurtful and become positively powerful.

Program Resources

The resources for this program are being fully provided for preview. The slideshows are in a preview format.

The development of this program was informed by a survey of students conducted in 2015. This was a national survey of 1,500+ secondary students using a prior extended version of the Embrace Civility Student Survey. A report of the results of this survey is available.

The Embrace Civility lessons directly address the individual Knowledge and Student Skills expectations in the Center for Disease Control’s HECAT for Violence Prevention for grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.


The pricing for Empower Students to Embrace Civility program will vary based on the size of the school or district and percentage of students receiving Free and Reduced Lunch.

Contact Embrace Civility in the Digital Age for details:  info@embracecivility.org

Keynotes and Workshops

Nancy Willard is available for keynotes and workshops at state, regional, or national conferences.

The keynote presentation will be an uplifting focus on strategies to Foster Positive Relations. This will address research-based strategies to empower students who are being treated badly, influencing students who are hurtful to stop and make things right, and increasing positive peer intervention.  The workshops will delve into the same issues as the school/district-based workshops.

A video of Nancy delivering a Keynote is here.

Please contact us at info@embracecivility.org.

University Faculty

By winter term, 2018, arrangements will have been made with Copyright Clearing House for use of these resources.

Share this: