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The original item was published from 10/16/2008 2:51:05 PM to 10/24/2008 12:00:07 AM.

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Cedar Hill News

Posted on: October 12, 2008

[ARCHIVED] Library Hosts 'Democracy's Challenge' Forum Oct. 23

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This forum will discuss the lack of public involvement in governing. It will be held at the Zula B. Wylie Library at 225 Cedar St. from 6;30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23.
For more information call the Library during regular hours at 972.291.7323.
This forum was organized by library staff members Dan Watkins, Diane Rayburn and Jim McMains.

This forum will present three different perspectives on the nature of the problem. The audience will deliberate over these and perhaps offer additional approaches. The library’s intention is for it to be a politically neutral program in which people can express their ideas in a non-threatening environment.

The discussion is about civic engagement in a democracy, not about convincing people to vote one way or another.

This forum is part of the library's long range plan, approved by the City Council, to "...convene meetings to provide an opportunity for people to discuss community issues...convene meetings to provide an opportunity to discuss national and international issues... present programs in partnership with local and national organizations that promote democracy and civic involvement...."

If there is any agenda for this meeting, it would be to provide a forum where people can discuss the public's role in government decisions and how they might get involved.

In preparation for the event, the library obtained material from the National Issues Forum. This organization has put together material for discussion forums on a number of topics.

The library has engaged Toni S. McNutt, Ph.D. to serve as facilitator for the event. She is a trained moderator, not associated with the National Issues Forum, nor any other organization that would bring bias to the program's outcome.

On her website, she lists her credentials as follows:
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"Who We Are - Toni S. McNutt, Ph.D. (Idea Practitioner)

Toni has a passion for the spontaneous combustion achieved when people recognize their own creativity and the powerful influence it can have in their professional and personal lives. She specializes in the training of applied creativity and facilitation of project development and strategic planning utilizing creative problem solving methods.

Toni teaches university level courses in creativity and innovation in business as well as marketing. Her practitioner and academic marketing backgrounds accommodate a unique perspective toward the application of creativity in the workplace.

Toni is fully certified in the Kirton Adaption Innovation Theory and Inventory. She is also a member of the Creative Education Foundation, the American Society of Training and Development, the International Association of Facilitators, and is listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

Toni holds a Ph.D. and BBA in Marketing, and an MS in Marketing Research."
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The City of DeSoto has been sponsoring a similar program called De Soto Dining and Dialogue. Although De Soto’s program follows a different format than this event, it has the same intention of engaging the community to talk about issues in a non-threatening environment.

Here is a link to the National Issues Forum website:

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