A year-long initiative meant to create a movement that identifies and promotes seven key values kicks off this weekend.

Humanity 101 is a toolbox of resources, ideas and activities promoting integrity, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, self-reflection, empathy and respect. The goal is to cause people to inspect how those seven values are key in the professional and personal success of humans.

The first kick-off event will be today, Feb. 9, at the First Institutional Baptist Church, 1141 E. Jefferson St., in Phoenix. Dr. Neal Lester, ASU Foundation Professor of English and director of Project Humanities, will present “Straight Talk about the N-word.” Several other kick-off events will be happening through Saturday, Feb. 15. All of the events are free and open to the public.

The initiative is hoping to create a movement and a buzz of conversation about humanity. Events, workshops, speeches, poetry readings and film screenings are being planned throughout 2014 along with an interactive website and a smartphone app.

“This really is an opportunity to get as many people involved in thinking about and talking about these values and essentially at least trying to focus on success stories of our best behavior and not the stories that show humans at our worst,” Lester said. “We’d like people to be more cognizant of their own behavior and their own thinking and understanding of how we are more connected than disconnected.”

Each event surrounding the initiative will be unique to draw more people into the conversation, Lester said. The events will be hosted across the Phoenix metro area. For more details and a complete calendar, visit humanities.asu.edu.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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