News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

For Immediate Release (02-26)
Date: May 23, 2002 
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Forum June 4-6
to Discuss Terrorism Issue
          Participants Will Study Ways to Promote Constructive Dialogue

             Burning national and international issues, such as “Terrorism: What Should We Do Now?” will be under discussion June 4-6 at Montgomery College.  The occasion is a three-day public policy seminar called “Communities Finding Common Ground for Action.”  It will be the first event sponsored by the College’s new Center for Community Leadership Development and Public Policy. 

College President Dr. Charlene R. Nunley announced the official launch of the new center this week, naming Professor Nathan Starr as interim director.  She noted that it is “a direct outgrowth of a community dialogue initiated by the College’s Council for the 21st Century,” an advisory group that provided input as she assumed the presidency.

            The nascent Center for Community Leadership Development and Public Policy already has worked behind the scenes on the terrorism issue.  It has held forums and other meetings for the purpose of contributing input to the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, which regularly submits reports to Congress, the White House, the news media, and other interested community and citizen groups. 

            The center also helped prepare students, faculty, and others for participation in a recent taping of the program “Public Voice” at the National Press Club in Washington.  (The program will appear on PBS stations this fall).

            The June 4-6 seminar will be held in cooperation with the Kettering Foundation and in conjunction with National Issues Forums, for which the new Montgomery College center is the Maryland affiliate.  The seminar will be part of a nationwide network of locally sponsored workshops designed to teach people skills for deliberation on difficult issues confronting their communities and the nation.

            Dr. Robert Walker, the center’s interim associate director, said the forums offer “a way to find ways for all voices to be heard and all parties to work together to attack problems and then judge the results together.”  During the meetings, he added, “Groups are able to create new knowledge that was not available before they got together.”

            The three-day event is intended for public officials, business and community leaders, faith community members, and any group seeking better ways to address important but difficult issues and help develop public policy on them.

            Through seminars like this, “communities can better define their roles and responsibilities in identifying and resolving problems together,” said Michelle T. Scott, Montgomery College’s Director of Equity and Diversity and liaison to the center for the Office of the President.

            Participants in the seminar can expect to return to their neighborhoods and work places better equipped to help colleagues address vexing problems with reduced levels of antagonism.  Results of the issues forums also will be forwarded to the Kettering Foundation to be used as part of its policy analysis reports.  Among other matters, the Foundation has been working on U.S. relations with China.  

            The June 4-6 seminar will be held at the Montgomery College Business Training Center, 12 Summit Avenue, fourth floor, Gaithersburg, Maryland.

            For more information, please call Dr. Walker at 240-567-7221 or e-mail ccldpp@mc.cc.md.us.

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