The “Conversation Toward a Brighter Future” is occurring as a solution to the negative discourse that is taking place across the country among our national leaders. As a result of their behavior, our world is becoming increasingly polarized. We must rely on the future leaders of this nation, our youth, to begin the conversation toward ways we can make this country better.
The Mannie Jackson Center for the Humanities and Lewis and Clark Community College are partnering with the Regional Superintendent and Madison County to support a youth driven “Conversation Toward a Brighter Future.” A summit was held on Feb. 23 and 25 with more than 200 middle school and high school student participants holding discussions around the MJCHF’s four pillars - Respect, Dignity, Understanding and Forgiveness. Students were encouraged to think outside their comfort zones and consider how we must treat each other if we are to exist as a thriving society.
Participants are now working in school teams to identify and research issues and create a plan that yields positive results reflecting the MJCHF’s four pillars. Plans must have measurable outcomes and offer the ability to be replicated by other schools and communities. They must address the consequences if students, teachers, administrators and staff fail to embrace respect, dignity, understanding and forgiveness, and how the four pillars can result in a better future for our schools, communities and country.
Students may earn their school up to $5,000 to fund their two-year research project. Project proposals must include a statement describing a problem and solutions that will benefit their school or community. If their proposal is approved, students will be awarded a fellowship grant for the implementation of their school research project. Students will then present an assessment and best practices in May 2017 and those selected will receive a grant of $1,000 for year two.