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New PBS Series Invites Study Circle Participants

The PBS series NOW is looking for participants in a pilot project that will encourage active discussion and engaged citizenship. The Twin Cities will be one of two sites (the other is San Diego) to host the pilot “Program Clubs,” which will be run on the study circle model. The study circles will be organized in September and October. If you’re interested in participating as a member or a facilitator of a group, please contact the Twin Cities Program Club coordinator, David McCarthy at davidlmccarthy@gmail.com. To read more about the program, click on the link below.

In the NOW Program Clubs the discussions grow out of issues presented in NOW programming. Facilitators (you can be one yourself!) will be trained by the Center for Democracy and Citizenship of the University of Minnesota. NOW plans to have eight groups in the Twin Cities during September and October of this year. The groups will meet four times. Each group will be provided with discussion materials and exercises for each session – but the actual conversation is totally up to the members. At the end of the sessions all groups will be invited to a final get-together to reflect on the Program Club experience, civic engagement and publicwork. The aim of the Program Clubs is to get people watching NOW and talking about the issues addressed on the show … but more than that the aim is to see if their theory is correct – that TV viewers can be inspired to become doers. The NOW Program Clubs will offer facilitation tools, materials related to broadcast, and a place to talk and reflect.

NOW will be able to provide some transport and other forms of assistance for participants. NOW will also make every attempt to locate the groups in different parts of the city for ease of travel.

Amy Lang
Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly.

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