Submitted by Bob Boland
January 16, 2020
The eight “Great Decisions” classes have been offered in Fernandina Beach for several years, and they return for 2020. These classes are based on material provided by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), including 25-minute DVDs with comments by America’s leading experts plus briefing books and other resource materials.
As the FPA CEO wrote recently, “we do not believe that global issues are too complex for citizens to understand if clearly briefed. Not to a limited circle, therefore, but to all, FPA extends an open invitation to join in a collective dialogue on our future in an interdependent world.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”
Great Decisions sessions are offered in three basic formats. Nassau County schools include these sessions for selected students with instructor-led class discussions. Amelia Lifelong Learning offers these sessions in the lifelong learning format with facilitator-led sessions for adults who enroll in the 8-session series. Nassau County Council on Aging offers them in the community center format with facilitator-led sessions as single classes open for separate enrollment.
The three facilitators for these sessions all are returning after offering the sessions in 2019, and each has been involved in prior years.
The topics for 2020 are:
1. Climate change and the global order (DVD focus is on sea water rise)
2. India and Pakistan: there is new leadership
3. Red Sea Security: a vital passage for world trade
4. Modern slavery and human trafficking: millions are victims, what to do?
5. U.S. relations with the “northern triangle” nations of Central America
6. China’s growing involvement in Latin America
7. The Philippines and the U.S.: new leadership here as well
8. Artificial Intelligence: the global race for the new frontier
Either Amelia Lifelong Learning series is $50 for the 8 sessions and you are urged to purchase the Great Decisions 2020 briefing book, $32 from FPA. Facilitator Stephen Kimmel’s sessions are on Mondays starting Feb 3, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Facilitator Peter Igoe’s sessions are also on Mondays starting Feb 10, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Both series are held at St. Peter’s Church, room 201. To register visit Amelia Lifelong Learning at www.amelialearning.com.
Each Council on Aging session is a separate registration and purchase of the briefing book is optional. Cost per session is $3 for Members and $5 for non-Members. Facilitator Bob Bolan’s sessions are on alternate Tuesdays starting Jan 21, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. These sessions are held at the COA Life Center, 1901 Island Walk Way (between McDonald’s and Zaxby’s). First Port City Bank, now located at 1890 S. 14th St., Fernandina Beach, and near Home Depot in Yulee, has provided an educational grant for support of Great Decisions sessions at the COA Life Center. To register call 904 261-0701 or visit COA at www.myactivecenter.com and select the Fernandina location.
Both organizations are recognized non-profit organizations under section 501c3 of the IRS Code, and both offer many other offerings of interest.