About the Institute for Civil Civic Engagement (ICCE)

Mission Statement

Civil discourse in our country, our city and our communities has become increasingly divisive and even hostile, to the detriment of our ability as communities to come together to achieve the public good. The Institute for Civil Civic Engagement has been formed as a partnership between institutions—San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, San Diego City College and the University of San Diego College of Arts and Sciences—committed to improving the quality of dialogue and civic engagement in our communities.

The mission of ICCE is to encourage, promote and increase civility in civic discourse by our fellow citizens and public officials, both interpersonally and in all manner of media. We seek to promote ways to be civil in our disagreements and respectful in our debates, as we confront the political challenges that shape our community. We will foster community initiatives, develop educational resources, and provide models of effective civil civic engagement for implementation and replication across the San Diego community and beyond.


ICCE seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • To raise San Diego community awareness of the problem the lack of civility in our public discourse creates in our attempt to achieve the public good.
  • To encourage the San Diego community to embrace basic elements of civility in dealing with civic activism and political campaigning.
  • To hold community leaders accountable to conducting public discourse in accord with these basic principles.
  • To recognize and award those in our communities whose civil actions demonstrate models of civic engagement.
  • To develop and implement programs and curriculum providing effective instruction in best methods of civil civic engagement for educational communities K-16.
  • To develop and deploy resources for the conduct and facilitation of effective and productive civic engagement across our communities, fostering civility and social justice.


The Institute for Civil Civic Engagement will accomplish these goals through:

Public Engagement and Awareness

  • Organizing and hosting Restoring Respect’s Annual Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue, a major public forum with local, regional and national participation.
  • Creation of the San Diego Deliberation Network, a consortium of civil engagement representatives from the University of San Diego, Point Loma Nazerene University, University of California San Diego, San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, San Diego City College and the League of Women Voters North County San Diego. SDDN provides resources to organizations and community groups seeking to develop more effective civic engagement forums, dialogues and processes.


At the College Level:

  • Working to integrate principles of civility into local colleges’ and universities’ mission statements and student learning objectives.
  • Working to integrate principles of civility across the curriculum of local colleges and universities.
  • Holding events for students, faculty and staff of local colleges and universities to raise awareness in their communities of issues of civility and civil conduct in their community and civic dialogues.

At the K-12 Level:

  • Working with local school districts to integrate principles of civility into their organizing documents and curriculum.
  • Holding events in K-12 schools of issues of civility and civil conduct in their community and civic dialogues.


  • Continuing the ongoing process of formulating community-developed Commitment to Principles of Civility as begun at the 2012 conference.
  • Disseminating the Principles to other groups and communities as well as local media through the website, press conferences, releases, media interviews and outreach to local community groups and organizations.
  • Soliciting community members and public officials to sign on to the Principles through the Restoring Respect website.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of and compliance with these principles through the Campaign Civility Project which evaluates the civility of the political campaigns of elected officials and candidates.