The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, and Central Arkansas Library System, as part of the Kettering Foundation’s Partnership for Democratic Practices in Arkansas, will host a series of public dialogues on topics including election security, food scarcity, free speech on college campuses, and preventing mass shootings.
The Partnership for Democratic Practices in Arkansas is part of a national initiative with the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute. This collaboration between national and local organizations aims to support the core functions and basic skills of a functioning democracy. One of these skills is being able to talk with fellow citizens about issues that divide.
The multiple dates will stretch from October 2022 through June 2023. Each dialogue will include multiple dates for participation. In-person dialogues will be held at the Main Library of the Central Arkansas Library System and will include sessions in both English and Spanish. Virtual sessions will be available via Zoom in English.
The dialogue dates, brief descriptions, and links to RSVP are listed below:
Election Security Dialogue: How should we encourage and safeguard voting?
Oct. 17: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (Spanish)
Oct. 17: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. online (English)
Oct. 31: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (English)
Many Americans are concerned about our country’s election systems, despite disagreeing on the specific problems or how to solve them. Are the systems too easy to manipulate? Do we have rules that make voting fair and accessible to all? Are we doing enough to ensure accuracy and credibility?
Land of Plenty: How Should We Ensure that People Have the Food They Need?
Jan. 23: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (Spanish)
Jan. 23: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. online (English)
Jan. 30: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (English)
While we have one of the world’s most productive and efficient food systems, millions of people in the U.S. still fall between the cracks. People who may have enough to eat today worry about the availability and quality of food for future generations.
Free Speech & The Inclusive Campus: How Do We Foster the Campus Community We Want?
April 10: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (Spanish)
April 10: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. online (English)
April 17: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (English)
Conversations about free speech on campus are often framed in opposition to diversity and inclusion and have spawned controversies, protests, and even violence. In today’s contentious and divided political environment, what should colleges and universities do to meet the roles and responsibilities of higher education to foster the campus community we want?
How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings in Our Communities?
June 5: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (Spanish)
June 5: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. online (English)
June 12: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at CALS Main Library (English)
Overall, the United States has become safer in recent years. Yet mass shooters target innocent people without reason, often in places where people should feel safe—movie theaters, shopping centers, and schools. The tragic attacks in Uvalde, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Parkland, Florida; and other places have raised concerns among many people across the nation. How can we stop mass shootings and ensure people feel safe in their homes and communities?
For questions about attending a dialogue, contact Aaron Keith Kennard at [email protected], or visit rockefellerinstitute.org/dialogue.