“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’

Huntsville Prison Overcrowding Forum

Since September, the David Mathews Center for Civic Life and the Alabama Media Group (AMG) have been actively engaging Alabamians in thoughtful reflection and public discussion on prison overcrowding in Alabama. Currently, over 100 Alabamians have submitted thought-provoking opinion editorials and online submission forms on the issue. The Mathews Center and AMG are currently engaging citizens in a series of face-to-face forums. On Thursday, November 6, the Mathews Center and AMG facilitated a public forum on prison overcrowding at AL.com’s Huntsville hub. The forum drew a diverse group of nearly 30 concerned citizens, from former inmates to representatives from the…


Prison Overcrowding Forum in Auburn

On Monday, November 3, concerned citizens came together in Auburn to learn more about Alabama’s prisons and deliberate on approaches to addressing issues facing the system. The diverse group of participants included: college students, families of current inmates, nurses, prison ministry volunteers, Auburn University faculty, a sheriff, a county commissioner, and many others. The forum – held in the Coleman Fellowship Hall of Auburn First Baptist Church – began with a word of welcome and thanks from Executive Director of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Chris McCauley. After expressing thanks to all who helped make the forum possible,…


Troy University Moderator Development Workshop

On Thursday, October 16, 2014, staff from the David Mathews Center for Civic Life (DMC) traveled to Troy University in Troy, Alabama to facilitate a moderator development workshop. Jonathan Cellon – Troy University Service Learning and Civic Engagement Coordinator and Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship (JOIP) mentor – hosted the event for students who will be moderating and recording public forums in the community throughout 2014 – 2015. DMC Executive Director Chris McCauley facilitated the workshop, and DMC Assistant Program Director Robert Turner led the students in several interactive activities. In total, eight students participated in the experience, representing many different majors…


“Separate and Unequal” Issue Book Premiere

For the past year and a half, the David Mathews Center for Civic Life (DMC) has been collaborating with Alabama Public Television (APT) on “Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement.” Through Project C, APT has produced three incredible electronic field trips featuring student reporters visiting important historical sites and engaging in conversation with citizens who lived through and contributed to the Movement. So far, the field trips have reached thousands of students across the world. In June 2013, DMC received an invitation to assist APT and their partners in developing a unique issue guide for Project C….


Jean O’Connor-Snyder Internship Retreat – 2014

On September 19th, the Jean O’Connor-Snyder (JOIP) interns and their faculty mentors gathered in the beautiful Rotunda at the American Village for a daylong retreat. In attendance were interns and mentors from the University of Alabama, Auburn University, the University of Montevallo, Troy University, and Tuskegee University. Also in attendance was the David Mathews Center for Civic Life staff: Chris McCauley, Executive Director; Cristin Foster, Program Director; and Robert Turner, Assistant Program Director. At the retreat, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, explore the history of the JOIP, gain a better…


Dothan Moderator Development Workshop

On Monday, September 8, the David Mathews Center for Civic Life facilitated a Moderator Development Workshop at Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Dothan, Alabama. The agenda included an introduction to public deliberation, an abbreviated forum on bullying, and a comprehensive review of moderator practices. The Evergreen Center for Dialogue and Discernment sponsored the engaging workshop. After a brief introduction to the Mathews Center and public deliberation, workshop participants engaged in an abbreviated deliberative forum on the bullying issue. The group talked through three unique approaches to addressing the issue, shared personal concerns on bullying, weighed costs and tradeoffs, and identified areas…