The public is invited to join community leaders, teachers and
public administrators from around the state for the fourth annual South
Carolina Public Policy Institute on Friday, Oct. 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7
in the Wall Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University. Two topics will
be deliberated: "Public Schools: Are They Making the Grade?" and "A
Nice Place to Live: Creating Communities, Fighting Sprawl." The fee to
participate in the forum is $69.
Forums are held each year around the country in cooperation with
the Kettering Foundation, a national research organization that studies
what it takes to make democracy work as it should.
"The purpose of the Public Policy Institute is to teach communities
to develop and establish town meeting-style forums based on the
deliberative process," says Jennifer Shinaberger of Coastal's Division
of Extended Learning and Public Services, which has joined with 26
other colleges, universities and civic groups across the country to
offer the program. The deliberative process helps people voice their
concerns and opinions in a structured setting. By learning this
constructive method for discussing complex topics, people can apply the
method to other issues facing their communities, according to
Through this process, citizens weigh the pros and cons of specific
issues and identify concerns they hold in common. "In debates we often
argue and insist on our own point of view," says Shinaberger. "In the
deliberative process, participants listen carefully to the views of
others and talk through conflicts that arise when people disagree,
finding common ground and making decisions together." Public Policy
Institutes have led to solutions for many chronic and divisive problems
that civic leaders have previously deemed insoluble.
The event is sponsored by Coastal's Division of Extended Learning
and Public Services and the University of South Carolina Institute of
Public Affairs in partnership with National Issues Forums Institutes.<
For more information, contact Jennifer Shinaberger in Coastal's
Division of Extended Learning and Public Services at 349-2737 or visit
the Web site www.coastal.edu/learn.