“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’


Sylacauga Minding Our Future Forum

On January 26th, Mathews Center staff joined Margaret Morton of SAFE Sylacauga to convene and moderate an Alabama Issues Forum on Minding Our Future: Investing in Healthy Infants and Toddlers. Community members and service providers from Sylacauga and beyond met at the B.B. Comer Memorial Library to deliberate through three unique approaches to addressing early childhood development and health in Alabama. The group first overviewed a brief introduction to the issue written by Dr. Ellen Abell of Auburn University for DMC’s Minding Our Future issue guide. Participants then watched a short video from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University…

 

Teachers’ Institute 2015

On January 15th and 16th, the Mathews Center partnered with Alabama Public Television (APT) and A+ Education Partnership to convene Teachers’ Institute 2015 at the American Village in Montevallo, Alabama. DMC staff, community partners, and nearly 35 educators from across the state participated in a two-day, interactive professional development experience designed to equip teachers with skills and tools to increase active civic learning in the classroom and beyond. Institute participants and panelists represented the following school systems and organizations: Fairfield City Schools, Mountain Brook School District, Shelby County Schools, Birmingham City Schools, Sylacauga City Schools, Talladega County Schools, Jefferson County Schools, Boaz…

 

Birmingham-Southern Prison Overcrowding Forum

On Monday, January 5, the David Mathews Center facilitated a deliberative forum on prison overcrowding in Kristina Scott’s “Exploring Birmingham” class at Birmingham-Southern College. Kristina is both an instructor at the College and Executive Director of Alabama Possible. Around 15 undergraduate students participated in the forum.* To begin the forum, students watched a short video created by AL.com which overviews the issue of prison overcrowding in Alabama. They then read an opinion editorial written by Senator Cam Ward on the issue. DMC Acting Executive Director Cristin Foster then invited students to share their concerns and perspectives on the prison overcrowding…

 

Minding Our Future Forum in Anniston

On December 2, the David Mathews Center for Civic Life facilitated a lively “Minding Our Future” forum on investing in healthy infants and toddlers. Fifty adults and young people joined the deliberation convened by Carol Bush (Director of the Wiggins Community Center) and the City of Anniston at the City Meeting Center. Forum participants weighed choices, shared perspectives, explored thoughtful ideas, and found common ground. During the discussion, forum attendees expressed support for creating educational videos and presentations designed to raise awareness with parents and caregivers on early childhood development. Participants noted that videos should highlight the number of neural…

 

Minding Our Future Forums in Jefferson and Elmore Counties

On November 15 and 18, the Mathews Center moderated two engaging forums using the new Minding Our Future issue book. The Birmingham Council of PTAs convened the forum on November 15, and the Elmore County Board of Education convened the forum on November 18. Throughout both discussions, citizens shared perspectives, weighed options, and identified common ground. Many similar themes emerged at the two forums. During the Birmingham forum, parents and educators discussed the importance of supporting young parents through education. Also, forum attendees stated that public meetings focused on children and families need to be more inviting. In other words,…

 

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…