Dozens gather at Antelope Park for “Civic Saturday”
Organizer: "Civic Saturday is supposed to be a civic analogue to a faith gathering."
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Community comes in many forms and fashions.
Church, maybe a Husker game. On Saturday morning, Lincolnites gathered at Antelope Park for a “Civic Saturday.”
“Civic Saturday is supposed to be a civic analogue to a faith gathering,” says Steve Smith of Civic Nebraska.
The Civic Saturday concept originated in Seattle and has been going on since across the country since 2016.
Smith says it’s kind of like church for civic responsibility. Attendees sang songs, read poems and got together in “civic circles” to discuss issues facing American citizens.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate teaching assistant Jordan Charlton read a poem inspired by Hudson Cabin at Pioneers Park at the event.
“Getting people together and getting people gathered in all of these moments is beautiful and it is very humanizing,” Charlton said.
Alicia Phillips read civic scripture about Sojourner Truth and Rep. John Lewis. Phillips says she’s not usually one to speak in front of others, but ever since her mom died in 2018 from leukemia, she says she’s grown to appreciate opportunities to find her voice at gatherings like Civic Saturday.
“After my mom passed away, I truly feel that part of her spirit and soul jumped into me and I’ve been able to speak on so many things that I’ve always been passionate about,” Phillips said.
One of the themes of the morning was being accountable and staying true to your word. Smith sums it up in five words, ‘Because I said I would.’
“It’s important to think that small acts matter,” Smith said. “That when we individually keep our promises, make good on our promises, and make good and honor our promises to other people, that adds up.”
Civic Nebraska has hosted six Civic Saturdays in the state since 2019. Per Smith, the next community gathering is being planned for early 2022.