Rhode Island Community Forums to inform, engage citizens
September 23, 2010
October 6 public forum topic: What Makes a Great Teacher?
The Rhode Island Foundation and WRNI, Rhode Island’s NPR station, have announced a project to provide in-depth information on community issues to Rhode Islanders. Thanks to a two-year, $100,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced earlier this year, Rhode Island Community Forums will highlight several major issues affecting the future of our state and provide opportunities for citizens to engage with each other through live public forums, radio broadcasts, and a new website, ricommunityforums.org. The Knight Community Information Challenge helps community and place-based foundations support news and information projects that inform and engage residents.
The first forum, What Makes a Great Teacher? is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at The Rhode Island Foundation. Panelists include: Deborah Gist, Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education; Richard Rothstein, research associate, Economic Policy Institute; Deloris Grant, English and drama teacher at Central Falls High School; and Heather Tow-Yick, executive director of Teach For America in Rhode Island. WRNI education reporter Elisabeth Harrison will moderate. The forum is free and open to the public.
“Engaged Rhode Islanders become involved Rhode Islanders,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of The Rhode Island Foundation. “The Knight project is designed to offer a balance of perspectives on critical issues through a variety of media, allowing for debate, dialogue, and ultimately, the development of creative solutions to our greatest challenges.”
“We’re delighted to partner with The Rhode Island Foundation on this initiative, spurred on by the Knight Foundation Community Information Challenge,” said Joe O’Connor, WRNI general manager. “WRNI is committed to providing Rhode Islanders with quality journalism and compelling storytelling that informs, educates and inspires community.”
During the next year, Rhode Island Community Forums will produce a series of public forums covering a range of topics that are central to the state’s quality of life: education, human services, community and economic development, health, the environment and the arts. Moderated by WRNI reporters, the public forums will feature local and regional subject experts. The forums will be broadcast at a later date on WRNI, and a dedicated web site, www.ricommunityforums.org, will promote ongoing discussion and information exchange.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
About The Rhode Island Foundation
Founded in 1916, The Rhode Island Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the nation. Along with donors and community partners, we work to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island. Last year, the Foundation and its donors made $27.5 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.
WRNI, broadcasting on 1290AM in Providence and 102.7FM in Southern Rhode Island, is a non-commercial NPR news station owned and operated by Rhode Island Public Radio. WRNI provides Rhode Islanders with balanced and in-depth coverage of national, international, and local news. Our mission is to provide quality journalism and compelling storytelling that informs, educates, and inspires community.