Schools and Libraries
February 13, 2013
On Feb. 7, Long Beach High School played host to the 100th National Issues Forum sponsored by Hofstra University. The forum was facilitated by Hofstra history professor Dr. Michael D’Innocenzo, who is co-director of Hofstra’s Public Policy Institute.
After discussing the issues of immigration and the national debt in class prior to the forum, approximately 40 seniors in the high school’s IB History of the Americas classes broke into three focus groups to share their views on these two issues of vital national concern. The students worked under the guidance of several Hofstra democracy fellows, who have been assisting Dr. D’Innocenzo with the National Issues Forum. Each group was given the opportunity to discuss both topics. Students were encouraged to deliberate these issues in a nonpartisan, non-confrontational way, helping them gain a broader understanding about these two issues of great national importance. Through their participation in the forum, students also learned how the act of discussing different points of view in this manner can help them reach educated conclusions, which in turn can inspire them to engage in social action to effect positive change in their communities.
National Issues Forums (NIF) is a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored forums that invites citizens to engage in dialogue about important issues. They are rooted in the simple notion that people need to come together to reason and talk — to deliberate common problems.