Annenberg School Dean Michael X. Delli Carpini recently participated in a discussion on America's political climate during a Roundtable at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on Monday, November 13. The Roundtable centered on the findings of a new Kettering Foundation report, "Public Thinking about Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role." The report highlights the public's thinking when deliberating the importance of community life and civic skills, the role of religion and moral values in a democratic society, and barriers and opportunities for fuller citizen engagement in the political system.
Ten additional panelists included: Cole Campbell, Dean, Reynolds School of Journalism, University of Nevada, Reno; Bliss W. Browne, President, Imagine Chicago; Betty Sue Flowers, Director, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; Brenda Girton-Mitchell, Associate General Secretary for Justice & Advocacy, National Council of Churches; Richard C. Harwood, Founder and President, The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation; Beverly W. Hogan, President, Tougaloo College; Betty Knighton, Director, West Virginia Center for Civic Life; David Mathews, President, Kettering Foundation; Charleta B. Tavares, Member, Columbus Ohio City Council, and Board Member, National League of Cities; and William F. Winter, former Governor of Mississippi.
The Roundtable was sponsored by the Kettering Foundation, the National Issues Forums Institute, the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives and Records Administration, 12 Presidential Libraries, and Public Agenda. More than 949 Americans from more than 240 communities took part in National Issues Forums during 2005 and 2006 and deliberated over broad approaches to the problems facing the nation's democracy. "Public Thinking about Democracy's Challenge" describes and analyzes what participants said during these nonpartisan forums.