What is the Civility Leadership Institute?

Partisan policies driven by partisan politics, coupled with 24-hour news feeds and always-on lifestyles, have widened and deepened our country’s divide. It is getting harder to have civil conversations. Kitchen table issues can’t be discussed because the kitchen table itself has become a battleground. Families are divided. Communities are divided. Our government is divided. We are stuck. We need skills. We need to be able to restore mutual respect in our relationships and need to be able to move forward as a country. We need to remember what matters to all of us. All of this is what inspired the creation of the Renew America Together (RATO) Civility Leadership Institute (CLI).

CLI participants will virtually meet once a month for six months. During each session, they will work through an exciting curriculum, hear from dynamic nationally recognized speakers, and strengthen their relationships with each other. CLI graduates will receive a professional certification in VitalSmarts™ Crucial Conversations and TypeCoach Influence Training and participate in a year-long follow-up program allowing them to continue to build relationships with one another, measure their progress and accomplishments, and receive professional coaching from industry leaders.

Who should apply for CLI?

Community leaders, state legislators, law enforcement, mayors, educators, business leaders, grassroots activists, etc. If you feel that this program will benefit you and your community, you may be a candidate for our inaugural class.

See below for information on CLI benefits, requirements, registration fee, schedule, and confirmed presenters.

The application deadline is May 21, 2021.


During this program, you will gain insights about yourself and others, build leadership skills that will enable you to better communicate with those you influence and those who try to influence you. You will also apply what you learn to real-life situations where the consequences of your leadership really matter.

Specifically, you will:

  • Recognize your communication, leadership, and influence styles and adapt to positively impact others.
  • Look for signs of silence and violence in yourself and others and tailor your communication approach accordingly.
  • Begin crucial conversations by creating mutual purpose and building mutual respect.
  • Mitigate conflict due to misunderstandings by owning your behaviors and making it safe for others to do the same.
  • Apply what you learn to specific situations through project work.

You will also:

  • Co-create solutions to organizational and societal problems with fellow participants.
  • Receive a certificate of completion in Crucial Conversations™ training by VitalSmarts™.
  • Receive a certificate of completion in Verifier+ and Influence training by TypeCoach.
  • Participate in quarterly check-in events with General Clark & other Renew America Together (RATO) featured speakers.
  • Receive up to three hours of one-on-one coaching as you apply what you learn.
  • Engage in reading assignments designed to help you examine your thinking process and identify how to act with courage.
  • Leave with a playbook to replicate program elements in your community.

Upon acceptance to the CLI program, you will receive:

  • Crucial Conversations: Toolkit
  • Crucial Conversation: Book
  • TypeCoach Verifier+ and Influence Training: Digital Handout and Downloads
  • Think Again: Book by Adam Grant
  • Braving the Wilderness: Book by Brené Brown
  • Journal Questions in PDF

Applicants should be able to:

  • Commit to the program (one day each month for six months with 12 months of follow-up)
  • Attend all sessions (see schedule)
  • Have computer and camera access in a private area
  • Have access to Zoom
  • Be willing to participate in measurements during and after the program

Application & selection process:

  • Apply to the Civility Leadership Institute (CLI) before the May 21 deadline.
  • Candidates will be invited for an interview prior to final selection.
  • The inaugural cohort will be announced in June.


  • Participation in CLI is a $497 investment per participant.
  • Payment is due upon acceptance into the program.

Session 1: See Each Other

July 16, 2021: 9am - 4pm central
  • TypeCoach Influence Training
  • RATO Roundtable: Environment
  • Introduction to CLI book club and journaling process

Session 2: Where Are We Stuck?

August 20, 2021: 9am - 4pm central
  • Crucial Conversations training
  • RATO Roundtable: The Pandemic
  • Book club and journaling breakout rooms

Session 3: Stories vs. Facts

September 17, 2021: 9am - 4pm central
  • Crucial Conversations training
  • RATO Roundtable: Disinformation
  • Book club and journaling breakout rooms

Session 4: Look & Make It Safe

October 15, 2021: 9am-4pm  central
  • Crucial Conversations training
  • RATO Roundtable: Race in America
  • Book club and journaling breakout rooms

Session 5: Listen & Take Action

November 19, 2021: 9am-4pm central
  • Crucial Conversations training
  • RATO Roundtable: BigTech
  • Book club and journaling breakout rooms

Session 6: Presentations & Graduation

December 17, 2021: 9am-4pm central
  • Crucial Conversations training
  • RATO Roundtable
  • Book club and journaling breakout rooms

*Each session will take place virtually 


*Additional panelists will be added as confirmed.