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Center for Public Deliberation Past Events​

Fall 2021

microphone in front of an American flag A Public Voice​
September 20, 2021
11 a.m. (Eastern U.S. & Canada)​

For more than 30 years, the Kettering Foundation, in collaboration with the National Issues Forums Institute, has organized A Public Voice. This annual event brings together representatives from community forum groups around the country and from national dialogue and deliberation organizations, as well as elected officials and staff, to explore the contributions that a deliberative public makes to addressing some of the most challenging issues facing our communities and elected officeholders.​​


Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom: Successfully Intervene with Groups Who are Unable to Dialogue​
September 28, 2021
Virtual
2:00 p.m.

several college students standing an sitting at two tables looking and listening to an instructor who is sitting on one of the tablesMany faculty members are experiencing a significant increase in both the frequency and the intensity of difficult dialogues in their classrooms. Their ability to engage students and facilitate meaningful dialogue in these moments not only furthers learning, but can also impact student success. Mismanaged conversations often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding, and simmering conflict that undermin​e learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.​

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Join us on September 28, 2021 and in just 90 minutes, you and your faculty colleagues will learn how to successfully integrate dialogue skills in the classroom environment, develop skills and tools to navigate triggering or contentious moments in the classroom, and gain a deeper understanding of your identities and how they shape and guide your communication style.

Students continue to challenge faculty and administrators to hear their concerns, engage in difficult conversation and make meaningful change on campus. Our expert presenters will draw on their joint experiences facilitating difficult conversations to share effective dialogue skills. They will share strategies for facilitating participants’ prior experiences and the role it plays in discussions, preparing groups to understand their unspoken expectations, and creating opportunities in groups who are unable to dialogue.

Take away critical, actionable tools that will help you:​

  • Create an inclusive classroom from the start – develop skills and tools to navigate triggering or contentious moments in the classroom, and gain a deeper understanding of your identities and how they shape and guide your communication style.​​
  • Prepare groups to understand their unspoken expectations – help groups understand and identify unwritten expectations for the diversity of the voices present, as well as expectations regarding the vehicle of dialogue for discussing race, so real learning and connections can take place.
  • Facilitate participants’ prior experiences with dialogue and the role these past experiences play in a present dialogue experience.
  • Create opportunities with groups who are unable to dialogue — capitalize on opportunities instead of mismanaging conversations that often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding, and simmering conflict that undermine learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.
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Young person stand in front of a neon sign that says Bright Future Enter HereYouth and Opportunity: What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive?​
October 27, 2021
 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

In small group Zoom discussions, students, staff, faculty, community members, and elected leaders will consider together what we should do for future generations to thrive. Specifically, we will weigh and consider three possible approaches to this challenge: (1) Equip people​ to succeed; or (2) Give everyone a fair chance; or (3) Focus on economic security. UHD Center for Public Deliberation, Texas Rising, UHD Student Government Association. ​ Read the Issue Guide​ (pdf) to prepare for this discussion.​



Spring 2021

WEEKLY SUSTAINED STUDENT DIALOGUE TO ACTION ON RACE
Every Thursday 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Spring 2021

Any UHD student is eligible to participate
Seating is limited and weekly Zoom attendance is critical as each session builds on the last, culminating in group action.
Sustained Dialogue involves deep conversations about challenging topics related to identity and inequality and which result in action taken by the group.
Please contact Dr. Windy Lawrence at lawrencew@uhd.edu to apply and discuss further details.

Spring 2021 Sustained Dialogue Facilitators

Rhonda FitzgeraldRhonda Fitzgerald, Managing Director, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
As the Managing Director for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN), Rhonda Fitzgerald works to train, mentor, and provide guidance to a broad range of institutions and individuals seeking to transform their communities through Sustained Dialogue. Rhonda has been with SDI for 10 years, working with students, faculty, senior administrators, campus leaders, and facilitators to build lasting structures for inclusion on campuses. As an engaging public speaker and facilitator, Rhonda has a passion for developing college aged leaders with civic competency and cultural humility. Due to her in-demand skills and experiences, she has made an impact at several places around the globe, including Ethiopia where she supports the work of the Addis Ababa University Peace Club, who have led a Sustained Dialogue effort since 2008. She also brings experience from the Proinsp​ire Management Fellows cohort, a program preparing non-profit leaders to build the sector. Rhonda is an alumna of Princeton University, where she participated actively as a moderator and leader of Sustained Dialogue.

Dr. Windy LawrenceDr. Windy Lawrence, Professor and Director, UHD Center for Public Deliberation (UHD CPD)
As both Professor and the founding director of the UHD CPD, where she has worked since 2002, Dr. Windy Lawrence leads and designs annual events and initiatives for the purposes of improving our civic capacity to deliberate across differences about critical issues, build stronger relationships, and bolster collaborative action (organizing or supporting 130 days of interactive forums in just the last 5 years). In 2020, she was recognized by her colleagues and was awarded the UHD University Faculty Award for her outstanding leadership in service. She creates 'high impact" experiences for students to help students hone their civic agency knowledge and skills. Her work benefits not only students enrolled in her courses, but throughout the entire university, reaching 2,800 students in the last five years. In 2018, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article, which recognized the UHD Center for Public Deliberation, under her directorship, as one of the pioneering centers in the U.S. that is a critical contributing leader to discussions around democratic learning.


Deliberating Across our Geographical Divides
March 2 & 4, 2021

Deliberation with 80 Students from both Wabash College and UHD While many are cognizant of the challenges surrounding our virtual, synchronous technologies (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.), we also believe that these technologies offer potential benefits for public deliberation. With traditional face-to-face public deliberation, invitations are often limited by geography and participants’ ability to physically attend the deliberation space. This semester, UHD CPD is partnering with Wabash College, a small, rural liberal arts institution in Indiana to co-facilitate a public deliberation. Organizers offer the event as a democratic space and for our communities to learn from one another about the benefits and challenges of deliberations across our geographies. UHD CPD and Wabash College will host a deliberation between the two teams of facilitators before the main event in order for the two teams to choose the topic they would like to facilitate between the two institutions. Please read the Issue Guide (pdf) before the event. .


SGA-Initiated Public Deliberation: Making Civic Engagement Accessible at UHD
Currently through March, Framing the Issue
TBA, University Deliberation on Civic Engagement
SGA is interested in leading deliberation at UHD on the issue of civic engagement accessibility at UHD. As such, CPD and its research associates are working to interview dozens of stakeholders in order to create a deliberation agenda.


Voting: How Should We Safeguard and Improve Our Elections?
April 14, 11 am – 1 pm.
Texas Rising and UHD Student Government Association asked UHD CPD to help them facilitate a two-hour deliberation with our UHD community, Houston community, and elected leaders on the issue of improving our elections. UHD CPD Associates will facilitate the discussion.


Climate Choices: How Should we Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet?
April 21, 2021
11 am - 1 pm
Discussing “Climate Choices: How should we meet the challenges of a warming planet?” students from across universities and colleges will come together in small zoom break-out rooms in five different rounds to talk in depth about how we can create stronger communities through civic engagement. Please read the issue guide to prepare for this event. PDF

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Fall 2020

Candidate Meet and Greet: We the People's Role in U.S. Politics
October 28, 2020
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Online Zoom Meeting

We Will be joined by a number of candidates running in this November's election to engage in meaningful dialogue with one another. 
Format of the zoom meetings will be in small break-out sessions, participants will consider and explore the candidates in a two-way dialogue on how we should be prioritizing our time to improve the way decisions are made in our communities.

How to prepare: We will explore three approaches in the guide, "We the People's Role in U.S. Politics" (pdf). Please read the guide in preparation for the discussion.


Spring 2020 

Candidate Meet and Greet
Feb. 26, 2020
Milam Event Room

Participate and meet dozens of candidates running the March election. Light morning refreshment will be served. 


Spring 2019

Jan. 22. 2019. (1 – 2:30pm, Room A-300). Interact-to-Innovate: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Jan. 24, 2019. (1 – 2:30 pm, Room 1070-South). Interact-to-Innovate UHD Team Meeting.

Jan. 29, 2019. (1 – 2:30 pm, Rm A-300). Interact-to-Innovate (I-to-I): Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Feb, 5, 2019. (1 – 2:30 pm, Room A-300). Interact-to-Innovate: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Feb. 12, 2019. (1 – 2:30pm, Room Milam Travis Room). I-to-I: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Teaching Demonstrations

Dr. Beth Boser - Thursday Feb. 21 at 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in A425

John Rountree - Thursday Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in A425

Elizabeth Earle - Thursday Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in A425

Mar. 5, 2019. (1 – 2:30pm, Room Milam Travis Room). I-to-I: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Mar. 23, 2019. (5 pm – 9 pm). Interact-to-Innovate: Bayou Bash Gators Recycle.

Mar. 21, 2019. (1pm – 2:30 pm, Room 1070- South. Interact-to-Innovate Team Meeting.

Mar. 19, 2019. (1pm – 2:30pm, Room Milam Travis Room). I-to-I: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Mar. 26, 2019. (2:30 – 4 pm). iRadio Station. Students Speak Across the Political Divide on Race Relations. iRadio.

Apr. 2, 2019. (1pm – 2:30pm, Room Milam Travis Room). I-to-I: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Apr. 9, 2019. (11am - 1 pm) Candidate Meet and Greet. Reading Room (outside of A420) >

Apr. 9, 2019. (1pm – 2:30pm, Room Milam Travis Room). I-to-I: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Apr. 16, 2019. (1pm – 2:30pm, Room Milam Travis Room). I-to-I: Democratic Naming Issues of Sustainability.

Apr. 18, 2019. (1pm – 2:30 pm, Room S1070). Interact-to-Innovate Team Meeting.

Apr. 23, 2019. (1 – 2:30 pm, N1099-Main building). Interact-to-Innovate Public Celebration.

April 24, 2019 (9 - 11:30 a.m., Buffalo Bayou Room)  A House Divided: What Would We Have to Give Up to Get the Political System We Want?   Please read the issue guides: A House Divided,   A House Divided Issue Advisory, A House Divided Spanish Version


2018 Events

Jan. 25, 2018.(6 – 8 pm, Houston Children’s Museum) Equality, Equity, and Ethics Dialogue.

Feb. 15, 2018. Primary Candidate Meet, Eat, and Greet.

Feb. 15, 2018. (6 – 8 pm, Houston Public Library) Equality, Equity, and Ethics Dialogue.

March 5, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am,  Milam Travis Room) CPD Interact-to-Innovate (I-to-I) Session 1: Relationship Building.

March 7, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am, Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Session 2: Understanding the Achievement Gap in K – 12 Education.  

March 19, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am, Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Session 3: Mind Mapping Student Success.

March 21, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am, Milam Travis Room)  I-to-I Session 4: Innovative Action for Student Success.

Mar. 27, 2018. (6 – 8 pm, St. Thomas University). Invited Speaker, “Ethics & Deliberation.”

Mar. 28, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am,  Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Innovative Action Meeting for Student Success 2.

May 1, 2018. (Houston Public Library, 6 – 8 pm): Public Deliberation. Coming to America: Who Should We Welcome? What Should We Do?

Apr. 4, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am, CSB C-100) I-to-Innovative Action Meeting 3.

Apr. 11, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am, Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Innovative Action Meeting 4.

Apr. 18, 2018. (10 am - 11:15 am, Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Innovative Action Meeting 5.

May 9, 2018. (10am – 12:30, Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Public Celebration.

Sept. 12, 2018. (9:45 - 11:45 a.m., Milam Travis Room) CPD Interact-to-Innovate (I-to-I) Session 1: Relationship Building..

Sept. 19, 2018. (9:45 - 11:45 a.m., Commerce Building, C100.) I-to-I Session 2: Understanding the Achievement Gap in K – 12 Education.  

Sept. 26, 2018.  (9:45 - 11:45 a.m.. Room A300) I-to-I Session 3: Mind Mapping Student Success.

Oct. 3, 2018. (9:45 - 11:45 a.m., Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Session 4: Innovative Action for Student Success.

Oct. 10, 2018.  (9:45 - 11:45 a.m., Room A300) I-to-I Innovative Action Meeting for Student Success 2.

Oct. 17, 2018. (9:45 – 11:45 a.m., Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Invited Keynote Speaker Kristi Rangel, Mayor’s Office, “Social Capital and Networking in Civic Innovation.”

Oct. 19, 2018. (Houston Public Library) CPD Deliberation Work Shop.

Oct. 24, 2018.; Texas Candidate Election Meet and Greet.

Oct. 25, 2018. (Harris County Public Library, Aldine). Community Deliberation on STEM.

Nov. 2, 2018. Social Emotional Learning Symposium.

Nov. 7, 2018. (9:45 – 11:45 a.m., Milam Travis Room) I-to-I Invited Keynote Speaker Kristi Rangel, Mayor’s Office, “The Importance of Writing in Civic Innovation.”

Nov. 8, 2018. (6 – 8 pm, Houston Public Library) Bridging and Bonding: How can we create engage communities in a time of rapid change?

Nov. 28, 2018. Public Deliberation. Coming to America: Who Should We Welcome? What Should We Do?

Nov. 28, 2018. Ben Hernandez, Candidate for U.S. Congress, Invited Keynote Speaker for Coning to America.

Dec. 5, 2018. (10:00 – 11 a.m.) CPD I-to-I Public Celebration.

Dec. 5, 2018. (11 – 12:30 p.m.) CPD Ripple Effect Mapping.

Dec. 13, 2018. (1pm – 3 p.m.) Speaking Across the Political Divide on iRadio.


2017 Events

2017. Full and Part-time Faculty led 26 deliberations in their courses.

Jan. – Feb., 2017. Greater Houston Region Issue Survey. Distributed by CPD to through two major institutions of higher education and Center for Houston’s Future

Jan. 23, 2017. 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, 1070-South. Democratic Engagement & Public Action (DEPA) Team Meeting.

Feb. 24, 2017. 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, DEPA Team Meeting.

Mar. 23, 2017. 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, DEPA Team Meeting.

March 29, 2017. 9:30 am – 11:30 am. Milam Travis Room. Houston Community Conversations on Access to Quality Education.

April 14, 2017. Islam and Judaism: Faith & Medicine.

Apr. 27, 2017. 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm, DEPA Team Meeting.

October 11, 2017. 11:15 am – 2:30 pm. UHD Main Building, N420. I-to-I Meeting 1: Relationship building & Understanding the Achievement Gap after Hurricane Harvey.

October 18, 2017. 9:45 am – 1:00 pm, UHD Main building N420. I-to-I Meeting 2: Visioning a Future & Moving to Public Action for Student Success for Hurricane Harvey.

October 25, 2017. 11:15 am – 12:45 pm. Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium. Community-Wide Action Forum. This forum is open to our entire Houston community.

November 1, 2017. 11:15 am -12:45 pm. UHD Main building, N420. I-to-I Meeting 3: Mind Mapping & Action for Student Success.

November 8, 2017. 11:15 am -12:45 pm. UHD Main building, N420. I-to-I Meeting 4: Action Planning for Student Success.

November 15, 2017. 11:15 am -12:45 pm. UHD Main building, N420. I-to-I Meeting 5: Implementation.

November 29, 2017. 11 – 2:30. Room A-300. I-to-I Meeting: Finalizing Student Success Initiatives.

December 13, 2017. 11 am – 2:30 pm. Room A-300. Public Celebration.


2016 Events

We the People: Our Role in American Politics
October 26, 2016, 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
UHD Welcome Center-Milam Travis Room

The Center for Public Deliberation invites you to attend our next forum entitled We the People: Our Role in American Politics (the specific deliberation guide we will discuss is attached) as a part of citizenship month. In addition to diverse members of the UHD community (students, staff, faculty, administrators), we will also be actively recruiting external Houston members, including 50 high school students (who will be holding forums first in their classrooms before they attend this event). Additionally, we are inviting members from the Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Green parties. We also are sending special invitations to our international students, who have critical, global perspectives on this topic.

Right after lunch, the Walk2Vote celebration will begin, with a lot of important speakers, live music, and walking. We have intentionally partnered and tied these two events together because both organizations want to help support the idea that celebrating voting is important because we are celebrating what we do 365 days a year. By bringing people together to talk and work across our differences, we are all a part of creating a more informed, more tolerant, more engaged community, who is more likely to vote.

You do not need to be an expert or a U.S. citizen to participate. Rather, we are looking to hear about your experiences on this topic wherever you may stand. Download the Issue Guide for this forum.


Interfaith Breakfast: How our Faith Impacts Our Serving & Working
with People in Our Society
Sat., Nov. 5, 2016
9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Room: A-300, (Academic Bldg., near the Starbucks)

Zahra Jamal, Associate Director, Boniuk Institute, Rice University
Henry Cuellar, Seminarian, St. Mary’s Catholic Seminary
And other religious leaders from Houston’s communities.
Moderator: Paul Fortunato, PhD, UHD English Professor.

How do people of faith express their commitments to social justice publicly? How do we best show respect for people of other beliefs? How can we work together for a more peaceful world?
Various leaders and members of other religious communities in Houston will also be in attendance to discuss these issues. Co-Sponsored by: Houston Interfaith Ministries & the Ctr. For Student Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.

Post Election Breakfast Reflection
Nov. 9 at 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Outside Robertson Auditorium

All members of our UHD community, please stop by for breakfast between the hours of 9 and 11 to talk with others and write your thoughts about the election results. There will only be two ground rules: (1) We do not plan to censor any statements, but please counter any “bad speech” with more speech (hopefully good) (2) Talk with someone you don’t know. Free breakfast and coffee. Sponsored by the Cultural Enrichment Center, the Center for Public Deliberation and Walk2Vote.

Making History by Acting in the Moment: A Panel on Race in America
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Girard ST Building, Travis Room

Presenters: Kwame Rose, Keisha Thomas, Steven Orozco. Presented by UHD'S Center for Public Deliberation and sponsored by UHD's Center for Critical Race Studies, UHD Student Government Association and Lone Star College.

Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
9:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Main Building, A300

Breakfast will be served.  Registration for attendance available soon.


Buddhism, Christianity, & Islam: Faith and Public Life
Open Interfaith Dialogue
March, 28, 2016
11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Outside the Robertson Auditorium

Buddhism, Christianity, & Islam: on Public Life
April 5, 2016
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Robertson Auditorium

Gaelyn Godwin, Abbot,
Houston Zen Buddhist Center
Paul Fortunato, Faculty Advisor, UHD Catholic Student Association
Reyhan Isbilir, Dialogue Institute of the Southwest

How can people of faith balance their religious life with the workings of the modern public sphere, in political and social life? (These speakers will be at the April 5 event.)


Fall 2015 Events

Judaism, Christianity, & Islam: Faith and Science
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Buffalo Bayou Room A300
6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.
Free snacks served.  
Event Flyer

Making Ends Meet: How Can We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity?
November 11, 2015 in A300
9: 30 A.M to 11:45 A.M.
Breakfast will be Served.

Issue Guide (PDF)

Sponsored by: Center for Public Deliberation, Center for Critical Race Studies, the O'Kane Gallery, Student Government Association, the Institute for Business, Ethics, and Public Issues, Houston Housing Authority, Citizenship Month, LISC Greater Houston, Lonestar College, Avenue Community Development Corporation. 


Spring 2015 Events

America's Energy Future: A Forum
April 15, 2015
Commerce Street Building, C-100
There are many practical solutions to our energy crisis being discussed. The trick is to consider our values and priorities, decide which options are most environmentally and economically viable, and then weigh the costs and tradeoffs needed to make them work. If you are interested in joining the discussion to help make real change.

Fall 2014 Events

Immigration in America: How Do We Fix a System in Crisis?
October 1, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. University of Houston-Downtown, ROOM A-300 and October 8, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Lone Star College, Kingwood, held in the Conference Center

For a growing number of Americans, the immigration issue is a tangible and pressing one. Those who support immigration are often bent on helping or employing newcomers. Those in favor of restricting immigrants worry about the growing costs—both social and economic—of assimilating and aiding new arrivals. For their part, immigrants themselves typically want little more than a better life. Can these often-conflicting interests be balanced?

The question facing Americans today is how to create a system that meets our diverse needs—a system that values the role immigrants play in society, takes heed of today’s economic and legal responsibilities, and keeps us strong and competitive in the future.

To promote deliberation about immigration reform, we will ask participants to deliberate three options, each built on a framework of ideas and information drawn from studies, speeches, interviews, books, and public policy proposals.

These options are not definitive prescriptions for action so much as starting points for dialogue. In the framework we use to hold the dialogue, we will avoid using partisan labels like Democrat, Republican, conservative, or liberal. The goal is to present ideas in a fresh way that encourages forum participants to judge them on their merit and openly explore them with others.

We are holding these forums because we are interested in creating more recognition that citizenship has to go beyond voting or writing our representatives. Citizenship also must include the democratic skills to organize diverse, groups of people, listen to each other, validate different values and experiences, build capacity, discover areas of both agreement and disagreement, and solve public problems ourselves. We are offering four forums this semester that attempt to give people these types of “democratic learning” experiences.

Registration is required for this event.

Please read this issue guide to discuss at the forum

Linked Futures: Communities, Higher Education, and the Changing World of Work,
November 12, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the University of Houston-Downtown, Room A-300 and November 13, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Lone Star College, Kingwood, held in the Conference Center.

Linked Futures builds on Shaping Our Future – How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?, a National Issues Forum and American Commonwealth Partnership public deliberation launched at a National Press Club event on September 4, 2012, with Undersecretary Martha Kanter and higher education and civic leaders including David Mathews, president of Kettering Foundation, Muriel Howard, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Scott Peters, Co-director of Imagining America, Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University, and others. Shaping Our Future convened more than 150 forums across the country, bringing together college students, parents, faculty, employers, retirees, policy makers and others to deliberate about the purpose of higher education and its roles in the society

The findings, described in Divided We Fail,​ a report by Jean Johnson of the public opinion and engagement group Public Agenda, revealed a gap between the ways in which lay citizens outside the policy making arena talk about higher education, and the debate among elected officials and other policy makers. As Johnson puts it, “Facing a more competitive international economy and relentlessly rising college costs, leaders say now is the moment for higher education to reinvent itself.” In contrast, “Forum participants spoke repeatedly about the benefits of a rich, varied college education…where, in their view, students have time and space to explore new ideas and diverse fields.” Lay citizens emphasized the need to broaden, not narrow, STEM education and preparation for other careers, in the context of rapidly changing work roles and globalized workplaces.

The next stage is Linked Futures where we address the question, “How can communities and higher education work together to address the changing world of work?” A framework is being tested with three options to consider:

  • Prepare Students for the Job Market: Our colleges and universities have to raise academic expectations, tailor their programs to the real needs of employers, and direct more of their educational resources toward vocational and pre-professional training.
  • Change Jobs for the Better. Many of the positions available to new graduates are poorly paid, offer little in the way of job security or job satisfaction, and are vulnerable to downsizing and outsourcing. Colleges and universities should take the lead in shaping a new kind of workplace…and a new kind of worker, one with the skills and habits of mind needed to thrive in a complex and rapidly changing world.
  • Be a Good Partner to the Community. Colleges and universities represent vital anchor institutions, places where the community gathers, engages issues, organizes activities and makes common cause. We depend on them to provide the civic and intellectual leadership that can strengthen democracy and drive long-term social and economic progress.

Events for Spring 2014

Bullying: How Do We Prevent It?
Mar. 20, Mar. 27, April 3, April 10, 2014, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Room C-212

Linked Futures – Communities, Higher Education, and the Changing World of Work

April 18 from 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Linked Futures builds on Shaping Our FutureHow Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?, a National Issues Forum and American Commonwealth Partnership public deliberation launched at a National Press Club event on September 4, 2012, with Undersecretary Martha Kanter and higher education and civic leaders including David Mathews, president of Kettering Foundation, Muriel Howard, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Scott Peters, Co-director of Imagining America, Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University, and others. Shaping Our Future has convened more than 150 forums across the country, bringing together college students, parents, faculty, employers, retirees, policy makers, and others to deliberate about the purpose of higher education and its roles in the society.

The findings, described in Divided We Fail, a report by Jean Johnson of the public opinion and engagement group Public Agenda, revealed a gap between the ways in which lay citizens outside the policy making arena talk about higher education and the education debate among elected officials and other policy makers. As Johnson puts it, “Facing a more competitive international economy and relentlessly rising college costs, leaders say now is the moment for higher education to reinvent itself.” In contrast, “Forum participants spoke repeatedly about the benefits of a rich, varied college education…where, in their view, students have time and space to explore new ideas and diverse fields.” Lay citizens emphasized the need to broaden, not narrow, educational opportunities, given the rapid change in workplaces. The next stage is Linked Futures. UHD's CPD invites the community to work with the American Commonwealth Partnership to begin the next phase of dialogue.

How Can We Stop Mass Shootings in Our Communities?
Feb. 6, Feb. 14, Feb. 20, Feb. 27, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Room C-212

“Deliberating Racial and Ethnic Tensions.”

February 28, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Commerce Building, Room C-230 View the issue guide (PDF)

January 23, 2014 – Shaping Our Future: How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want.
9:50 - 11:15 AM, Room C-212

Part of a national discussion in partnership with American Commonwealth Partnership and National Issues Forums Institute. Issue Guide, View the flyer, View the Video, Contact: Dr. Windy Lawrence.


“Framing What is Important to Our Community"
Jan. 14 to Jan. 30, 2014 Online Deliberation


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Last updated 5/4/2022 3:14 AM