“Changing the way people talk can change the way they relate to each other and their problems – and that can eventually change the community.”

– David Mathews

Our purpose is to foster infrastructure, habits, and capacities for more effective civic engagement and innovative decision making.

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Posts Tagged ‘Public Deliberation’


Montevallo Middle School Forum

On March 31, 2014, DMC Assistant Program Director Robert Turner moderated an abbreviated National Issues Forum (NIFI) on immigration with a dozen 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Montevallo Middle School. The students shared personal stories about immigration, examined the issue, talked through three approaches for addressing the issue, and weighed tradeoffs throughout the deliberative experience. The NIFI issue book entitled Immigration in America: How do we Fix a System in Crisis? prompted deliberation on three distinct approaches: “Welcome New Arrivals,” “Protect Our Borders,” and “Promote Economic Prosperity.” Throughout the forum, students talked through several options and corresponding consequences,…

 

Reconnecting in Alexander City

On March 18, 2014, David Mathews Center for Civic Life staff provided follow-up support to counselors at Stephens Elementary in Alexander City. At the request of Elysa Gordon (a moderator development workshop participant and school counselor at Stephens), DMC staff traveled to Alexander City to engage students in deliberative forums on bullying. Following the forums, a small group engaged in a reflective discussion on effective strategies for moderating and recording public forums. DMC Program Director Cristin Foster moderated the forums, and Assistant Program Director Robert Turner recorded the themes. Through their collaborative efforts, both employees brought deliberation to life for…

 

UM Social Work Moderator Workshop

On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, the David Mathews Center for Civic Life had the pleasure of facilitating a moderator development workshop with the University of Montevallo’s Department of Social Work. DMC Program Director Cristin Foster and Assistant Program Director Robert Turner facilitated the thorough and candid workshop. UM social work professor Dr. Meredith Tetloff hosted the event, and approximately 20 students participated. For two enlightened hours, the students engaged in a wholesome deliberative discussion on the issue of bullying. The participants learned about various forms of bullying, while citing “cyberbullying” as being unique to their generation. Throughout the forum, the…

 

BEF Moderator Workshop

On January 27, 2014, the Mathews Center facilitated a Moderator Development Workshop with Birmingham Education Foundation staff and interns at The Lincoln Center. Workshop participants explored public deliberation, talked through the bullying issue in an abbreviated deliberative forum, and engaged in an interactive discussion on moderator and recorder strategies. The bullying forum provided an excellent introduction to public deliberation for workshop participants. The group shared their perspectives on the issue, examined three approaches to addressing bullying, weighed costs and tradeoffs, and worked through tensions during the abbreviated forum. Rather than advocating a “one-size-fits-all” approach, the participants emphasized the importance of…

 

Monroe County Bullying Forum

Alabama Issues Forums 2012 – 2013 concluded on the afternoon of December 16, 2013 at the Water Tower Conference Center in Monroeville, AL. Nearly 15 Monroe County Youth Leadership students gathered to participate in the final bullying forum. In sharing their perspectives and weighing choices on bullying, the students joined a statewide conversation on the issue that engaged nearly 4,500 Alabamians in 42 counties. Willie Williams, Cooperative Extension Coordinator for Monroe County, convened the final forum. During the forum, participants worked through three approaches to addressing the bullying issue and identified common ground. Common themes centered on equipping young people…

 

Alexander City Moderator Development Workshop

The David Mathews Center facilitated a moderator development workshop on Thursday, December 12, 2013 in Alexander City, Alabama at the Alexander City Board of Education office. Program Director Cristin Foster moderated the workshop, while Assistant Program Director Robert Turner recorded. The group consisted of school counselors, principals, department heads, after-school program directors, faith-based representatives, and teachers. At the beginning of the day, the group participated in a deliberative forum on bullying. Prior to examining different approaches to the issue, Cristin reviewed the “Facts on Bullying” essay from the bullying issue book, and asked the participants to reflect on the statistics…