September 23, 2022

Kilmer Earns National Award for Work to Promote Civility

Washington, DC – On September 13, U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) was recognized with an inaugural “2022 Stubblefield Institute Civility Award” by the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications (Stubblefield Institute).

According to the Stubblefield Institute, the award is presented to elected leaders and members of the media for consistent displays of fairness and civility and aims to call attention to those who have consistently set a positive example of constructive debate, while also earning respect from those with whom they disagree.

“Americans don’t expect Members of Congress to agree on everything, nor do they expect members of Congress to all be best friends. But they do expect us to work together and show respect for one another as we work to represent our constituents and serve the American people,” said Rep. Kilmer. “That’s been part of my ethic since day one in this job – and I’m honored to be recognized for that work.”

Rep. Kilmer received the award, in part, for his leadership to make Congress more effective and efficient as Chair of the Committee on the Modernization of Congress – which has passed over 170 bipartisan recommendations that aim to make Congress work better for the American people.

Awardees were selected by a vote of the bipartisan Stubblefield Institute Board of Advisors. The award winners included: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan; nationally acclaimed political journalists David Brooks and Mark Shields; U.S. Representative William Timmons, vice-chair of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Suzanne Clark, who represents America’s private sector.

“We are thrilled to recognize such an outstanding group for their consistent expression of civility and constructive debate,” said Shepherd University’s president, Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix. “By selecting representatives from the federal government, state government, media, and the private sector, we hope to show that all of us have a role to play in improving public discourse in today’s political arena.”

“I am very proud of our Board of Advisors for their thoughtful deliberations and sense of purpose in choosing leaders who are role models in their respective fields,” commented Greg Fields, Acting Director of the Stubblefield Institute. “They are among the ones we point to when claiming that our nation needs to heal and learn to talk to one another about our differences.”

According to the Stubblefield Institute, the purpose of the Civility Awards is to recognize high-profile leaders who have demonstrated a willingness to be fair, work with all sides of an issue or topic, treat both friends and adversaries with respect, and put policy and problem-solving ahead of partisan or personal gain.

The mission of the Stubblefield Institute is to serve as an active center for the study and promotion of civil political discourse, inspire intelligent, authentic and constructive debate, and encourage positive civic engagement for both students and the public alike. According to the Stubblefield Institute, they seek to demonstrate that when opposing viewpoints are respected and legitimized in ways that avoid negative labeling, alienation, and silencing, it can strengthen our nation’s ability to better challenges and solve problems.