WE HIT 100!

13 Feb

Last Thursday we hit what seemed to be a goal only attainable in our wildest dreams: ONE HUNDRED deliberative forums throughout Long Island on issues that affect each and every one of us!  We were incredibly pleased to share this milestone with the students, faculty, and administration at Long Beach High School.  Having faced utter devastation as a result of Hurricane Sandy, Long Beach has done an excellent job rallying together in rebuilding efforts to move forward as a community.  Garnering similar spirit, we led six forums on the National Debt and Immigration Reform, giving students the opportunity to approach these issues in a deliberative manner so that we can move forward as a nation.  Both the Principal, Dr. Gaurav Passi , and the Superintendent, Dr. David Weiss, are Hofstra alumni and have a long involvement with the deliberative NIF process.  In October, the Long Beach Public Library hosted eight forums on four consecutive Fridays, allowing for community members to weigh in on the very same issues students considered last week.  Unfortunately, Sandy hit just days after our last forum at the library and it has yet to reopen.

Long Beach

Reflection from A Nation In Debt:

“I had no idea about anything with the debt, it was just something Dr. Smith gave us last week.  It isn’t something we talk about at home.  My parents don’t say ‘Wow, we’re 17 trillion dollars in debt, have a good day at school!'”  — Female Student

“We only debate at home about politics and say how we feel, not moving on our stances.  It was nice to actually discuss something and see people change their mind about stuff.” — Male Student

“This was the first time I got to hear this is actually an open issue looking for a solution.  The only times we’ve talked about it, I’ve been talked at and not spoken with.” — Female Student

“This should be talked about a lot at school.  This is real life and we need to talk about it now.  It matters.”  — Male Student

Reflection from Immigration in America:

“In my family, when we talk about it, we may have different opinions, but we’re all coming from the same place.  It was good to actually talk about this with people from different backgrounds.” — Male Student

“It’s good we didn’t just talk about what affected us, but how it impacts people from all over the country…how this conversation would be if we were living in Arizona or someplace else.” — Male Student

“I think this type of conversation is more productive and beneficial than how the country has been talking about it.” — Female Student

“This is better than the debates we’ve had in class.  It is not as much about defending everything.  You can have an opinion without fear of being looked down upon.  The forum allows us to actually talk about it.  I’m heard, not judged.” — Female Student

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