An upcoming conference, “Florida’s Community Challenges in the 21st Century,” directly impacts Santa Fe’s Democracy Initiative. It takes place Feb. 9-12 at the UF Hilton. Admission is free but preregistration is required. Details are on the flier and in the public service announcement on YouTube.
Marin Smilov, SF Assistant Professor, Humanities and Foreign Languages, sees at least three ways in which this conference relates to SF’s Democracy Commitment Initiative. He sets them forth as follows:
1. The Gainesville Institute is a registered non-for-profit non-partisan educational organization with the exclusive goal to enlighten the members of the community in making informed decisions. The conference will provide a forum for open exchange of ideas which is the essence of democracy.
2. The conference is sponsored in part by the Florida Humanities Council. It provides free access to the general public including SF students and faculty. The office of the Florida supervisor of elections will be present at the conference site and will conduct voter registration.
3. The three sections of the conference are: Education, Energy and Growth. These are some of the most essential issues that the Florida communities will have to face. Many of the presenters are distinguished faculty members from SF College and UF. I believe that the conference fits the Democracy Initiative by raising the awareness of the students and promoting the students’ involvement in the political life.