I am delighted to inform you that the Charles F. Kettering Foundation has named the Center for the Study of Citizenship as one of its centers for a democratic public life. This designation will enable the Center to send two representatives to the Kettering campus in Dayton to participate in a research and learning exchange on the introduction of deliberative practices into our communities. The foundation and its collaborators seek to answer one foundational question: “What does it take to make democracy work as it should?”
One of the Center’s participants in the Kettering exchange, Parada Jordan, will serve in a leadership role in the Center’s new Citizenship for Health project, for which Malcolm Cutchin (Professor and Chair, Health Care Services, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences) and I serve as co-chairs. The mission of the project is to serve the citizens of Detroit by fostering processes of engagement and evaluation, especially those of democratic action and deliberation, that allow community-based citizenship to flourish for the sake of public health improvement. One of the goals is to become a hub for community-engaged research, beginning with health but with a goal of including all community-engaged research on campus.
The second Center participant in the Kettering exchange, Amy Bloom, social studies consultant for Oakland Schools, plays a leadership role in the Center’s new Citizen Dialogues, promoting discussion of controversial issues with a goal of informed, civil discussion, listening and problem-solving. It seeks to burst some of the civic “bubbles” that most Americans inhabit. In October, we launched the dialogues with a discussion of gun rights and gun violence. Keep an eye out in our next newsletter for details about the second dialogue, on immigration.
As you look forward to a new year and consider charitable donations, please consider a gift to the Center. Executive Board member emeritus, Mike Loewe, and his wife Kathy have generously offered to match all New Year donations to the Center up to $15,000. More information is forthcoming, but please help to make this the Center’s best fundraising year. Here’s is the link to the Center’s “giving” page. http://clas.wayne.edu/Citizenship/Support-Us.
With best wishes for the new year ahead,