“Can we talk?” The late comedian, Joan Rivers, made that question famous in her stand-up routines but she had a point: Democracy requires an ongoing deliberative public dialogue for citizens to discuss common problems.
Deliberative Dialogues are public forums held to address specific problems related to family relationships, public health, foreign policy, civil rights, the environment, and other important issues. They are guided by issue books prepared by the National Issues Forums Institute (www.nifi.org) to help participants better understand issues of national concern.
In partnership with the University of Houston-Downtown, the Lone Star College-Kingwood Center for Civic Engagement will be conducting two Deliberative Dialogue sessions this fall on the LSC-Kingwood campus. On Wednesday, Oct. 8, 5-7:30 p.m., the discussion topic will be “Immigration,” held in the Student Conference Center. On Thursday, Nov. 13, 5-7:30 p.m., the topic will be “Higher Education and the Changing World of Work,” held in PAC 125.
Students and community members have been preparing for these forums by completing a Deliberative Dialogue Moderator training sessions. In the sessions, students learn to facilitate healthy discussions about important issues; how to reach consensus; and develop problem solving skills. Students from both schools will serve as moderators for the dialogues which will include students, faculty staff, and community members.
“The inability of our political leaders in Washington and Austin to deal with pressing issues means citizens have got to step up and take control of their democracy,” said Dr. John Theis, political science professor and Center for Civic Engagement sponsor.
For more information about the upcoming Deliberative Dialogues, contact John.J.Theis@LoneStar.edu. For information about the Center for Civic Engagement, visit LoneStar.edu/LSC-Kingwood-Civic-Engagement.
Register now for credit classes online through myLoneStar. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional, Internet, video, TV and independent study formats. For more information on how to register online, visit www.lonestar.edu/registration. For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit http://lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm.
Lone Star College System has been opening doors to a better community for more than 40 years. Founded in 1973, LSCS remains steadfast in its commitment to student success and credential completion. Today, with 78,000 students in credit classes, and a total enrollment of more than 90,000, Lone Star College System is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and one of the fastest-growing community college systems in the nation. Dr. Steve Head is the chancellor of LSCS, which consists of six colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, LSC-Tomball and LSC-University Park, seven centers, LSC-University Center at Montgomery, LSC-University Center at University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.
Photo cutline: Michael Moode, LSC-Kingwood associate professor of speech, coaches student Alissa Ives during a recent Deliberative Dialogue Moderator training session.