“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’

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…


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….