Baylor University’s Public Deliberation Initiative Presents 2018 Civic Life Summit

  • Full-Size Image: Civic Life Summer 2018
    Baylor University's Public Deliberation Initiative (PDI) will present its annual Civic Life Summit Oct. 11-12 to encourage collaboration, engagement, innovation and commitment to create a social change.
  • Full-Size Image: President Livingstone
    Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., will give opening remarks at the 2018 Civic Life Summit.
  • Full-Size Image: Elizabeth Ligawa
    Elizabeth Ligawa, director of community engagement at Prosper Waco, will be one of the guest speakers at the 2018 Civic Life Summit at Baylor.
  • Full-Size Image: Sharon Watkins Jones
    Sharon Watkins Jones, director of political strategies at ACLU Texas, will be one of the guest speakers at the 2018 Civic Life Summit.
  • Full-Size Image: Chet Edwards
    The Honorable Chet Edwards, The W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair for Public Service at Baylor, will be one of the guest speakers for the 2018 Civic Life Summit.
Sept. 27, 2018

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
Follow Lori on Twitter at @LoriBaylorU
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by Gabrielle White, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Sept. 27, 2018) – Baylor University’s Public Deliberation Initiative (PDI) will present its annual Civic Life Summit Oct. 11-12 as community members and leaders join together to learn from each other and discuss how to engage in respectful and productive conversation across divisive social issues and differences.

The two-day summit will be held at the Mayborn Museum Complex, 1300 S. University Parks Drive. Registration for the 2018 Civic Life Summit can be found online. Tickets are $95. After Oct. 1, they are $115. Student registration is free.

Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., will present opening remarks at the Civic Life Summit, with plenary presentations by the Honorable Chet Edwards, The W.R. Poage Distinguished Chair for Public Service at Baylor (“We the People: The Key to a “More Perfect Union”); Sharon Watkins Jones, director of political strategies at ACLU Texas (“Civil Rights in Uncivil Times”) ; and Elizabeth Ligawa, community advocate and Family Support Specialist at Waco Independent School District (“Shine This!”). The event is geared for community organizers, campus administrators, concerned citizens, religious leaders and students.

“We are creating space to learn together how to have these kinds of conversations, how to engage when it is not easy, how we can talk about tough issues respectfully and identify ways to work together in community and to be community together,” said Erin Payseur Oeth, associate director of civic learning initiatives in the Baylor Office of Community Engagement and Service.

On Thursday, the event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will include lunch, an opening session and two “Deliberation in Action” sessions, followed by a student-only summit from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., which will include free food and games. On Friday, the event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will include breakfast, lunch, three breakout sessions and a plenary session.

Breakout sessions include:

Laying Our Stories Side by Side: Using Personal Narrative to Promote Cross-Cultural Communication: Led by Danielle M. Williams, Ph.D., lecturer of English in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences, and interim director of first-year writing at Baylor, and Sara Dye, doctoral candidate in English and assistant to the director of first-year writing.

Cultivating Cultural Humility: A Civic Responsibility: Led by Kerri Fisher, M.S.W., lecturer in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.

Introduction to Restorative Justice Circles: Led by Cheryl Miller, credentialed advanced mediator and owner and consultant for Quantum Circles Consulting.

Better Together BU: Building Interfaith Cooperation in the Community: Led by Rev. Sharyl Loeung, M.Div., coordinator for outreach and inclusion in the Baylor Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Rev. Dr. Josh Ritter, M.Div., Ph.D., assistant director for spirituality and public life in Spiritual Life at Baylor.

Living Room Conversations on Race: Led by Ramona Curtis, M.A., director for community engagement and initiatives at Baylor, and Bryan K. Dalco, M.Div., ordained elder of the United Methodist Church and senior pastor of One Fellowship United Methodist Church in Waco, Texas.

Naming and Framing Community Issues: Led by Oeth and the Rev. Dr. Josh Ritter.

“We know that learning to love our neighbor means learning how to get to know our neighbor,” Ritter said. “The Summit is helping teach us healthy means of communication that will allow us all to learn how to get to know our neighbors in more meaningful and less polarizing ways.”

The Baylor Public Deliberation Initiative is a Center for Public Life partnered with the Kettering Foundation and collaborative initiative between the Office of Community Engagement and Service and the Office of Spiritual Life. The PDI invites Baylor students, staff, faculty and local community members to participate in forums about local and national issues to better understand the perspectives, possible outcomes and trade-offs of different options.

For more information about the Civic Life Summit, contact Erin Payseur Oeth or Josh Ritter.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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