“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’


Bibb County Minding Our Future Forum

On April 2nd, Mathews Center staff joined the Bibb County Children’s Policy Council for a “Minding Our Future” forum at the Bibb County Courthouse in Centreville. Matt Hartzell and Sallie Hooker of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System convened the forum. Participants deliberated together using a framework centered on three unique approaches to investing in healthy futures for Alabama’s infants and toddlers: 1. Develop capable and caring parents, guardians, and caregivers, 2. Create healthy and thriving communities, and 3. Provide access to comprehensive high quality services for all children. Participants agreed that quality information and education are important to developing capable…

 

Minding Our Future Forums in Crenshaw and Pike Counties

On March 23, 2015, David Mathews Center for Civic Life staff moderated Alabama Issues Forums on “Minding Our Future: Investing in Healthy Infants and Toddlers” in Crenshaw and Pike Counties. Wanda Carpenter, Alabama Corporative Extension System Family and Child Development Agent, convened the engaging forums. During both forums, Crenshaw and Pike County residents deliberated through three unique approaches, shared their perspectives and personal stories, and identified common ground for taking action. Despite being in different counties, similar themes emerged during both forums. In Crenshaw County, forum participants focused on active skill building for parents and future parents. Participants saw particular…

 

Colbert County Minding Our Future Forum

On Thursday, March 19, Mathews Center staff moderated an Alabama Issues Forum on “Minding Our Future: Investing in Healthy Infants and Toddlers” in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Thirty-five parents, educators, and service providers gathered at the Northwest Shoals Community College Hospitality House to deliberate through three unique approaches to investing in healthy infants and toddlers. Melanie Allen, Family and Child Development Agent with Alabama Cooperative Extension System, opened the forum with a word of welcome and introduction. Forum participants then explored strategic facts and information on early childhood development by viewing a video from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child,…

 

Civic Skill Building at Montevallo High School

On March 16th, the Mathews Center staff joined Montevallo High School Principal Dr. Wesley Hester and the MHS Citizenship/Leadership Group for a morning of deliberative discussion and civic skill-building activities. Dr. Hester convened the event to engage students in deliberation on four main themes affecting MHS: raising expectations and limiting complacency, learning standards and ownership of learning, grades vs. mastery, and engaging families in education. The Citizenship/Leadership Group has been working together to name and frame, deliberate, and address issues at Montevallo High School and in the broader Montevallo community since August of 2014. The group has grown to nearly…

 

Minding Our Future Forum – Avondale Library

On March 10th, DMC staff moderated a Minding Our Future forum at the Avondale Public Library in Jefferson County. Around thirty-five soon-to-be mothers and mothers of young children shared their ideas and perspectives on investing in healthy infants and toddlers. The group weighed three unique approaches to the issue: “Develop Capable and Caring Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers;” “Create Healthy and Thriving Communities;” and “Provide Access to High Quality Comprehensive Services for All Children.” Forum participants agreed that improving parent education, building healthier communities, and streamlining referrals to services are all a part of ensuring the health and well being of young…

 

“Separate and Unequal in 1963″ Forum – Notasulga High School

On February 20 and 27, 2015, students at Notasulga High School pondered some of the most difficult, challenging, and influential decisions made in the past one hundred years. Is the potential sacrifice worth the achievement of equality? Ninth and tenth grade students assumed the roles of citizens living in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, to answer that very question. Using the “Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create a Fair Society?” issue guide created by the David Mathews Center for Civic Life and Alabama Public Television, students pondered the following three options to overcome the issue of racial inequality in…