Public education will be the focus of a new series of Good Faith Forums in August.
The three events will take place at 1 p.m. CDT / 2 p.m. EDT on the next three Tuesdays – Aug. 11, 18 and 25 – with each forum being livestreamed to GFM’s Facebook page.
The forums are produced in partnership with Pastors for Children, a network of faith-based, state-level organizations working to support public schools in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
Cameron Vickrey, associate director of Pastors for Texas Children, will moderate each event. Vickrey holds a master of divinity degree from Wake Forest University in North Carolina and is the mother of three elementary-aged daughters in public school.
“Never before has there been such collective attention on public schools. Pastors for Texas Children is grateful to Good Faith Media for giving us a forum to discuss all the complexities that surround education right now,” Vickrey said. “This series on public education will help us all navigate the difficult days ahead and focus on supporting and advocating for our schools, teachers and students.”
The first forum will take place on Aug. 11, with panelists Carol Burris and Rev. John Ogletree discussing plans for restarting schools during a pandemic.
Burris is executive director of the Network for Public Education. She was principal of South Side High School in the Rockville Centre School District in New York from 2000-15, being recognized in 2010 by The School Administrators Association of New York State as the Outstanding Educator of the Year and in 2013 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as the New York State High School Principal of the Year.
Ogletree is the senior minister of the First Metropolitan Baptist Church in Houston, where he has served since 1986.
He is president of Pastors for Texas Children and the outgoing president of the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (the third largest district in Texas), where he has served on the board of trustees since 2004.
The second forum will take place on Aug. 18, addressing public education as a cornerstone for democracy, and the final public education forum will occur on Aug. 25 looking at public education funding and privatization efforts.
You can sign up for reminder emails related to the forums and you can submit questions to the panelists in advance of the forum here; inquiries also can be submitted during the live event via Facebook chat.
GFM staff will curate questions submitted in advance and during the event. The moderator will present selected questions to the panelists.
“Public education is a cornerstone of democracy, as well as a right bestowed upon us by our Creator,” Mitch Randall, CEO of Good Faith Media, said. “As schools in the United States look to reopen during a global pandemic, supporting public education has never been more paramount.”
“Educating the next generation of Americans is sacred and holy work, conducted and maintained by faithful educators committed to loving, caring and teaching children,” he said. “As people of good faith, we need to demonstrate support, offer encouragement and invest resources as we empower our greatest commodity.”
In July, three Good Faith Forums focused on racial justice, engaging panelists from across the U.S. in discussing systemic racism, white privilege, white supremacy, Christian nationalism and policing.
Reflection and resources at the intersection of faith and culture through an inclusive Christian lens.