Lectures delve into local issues | AspenTimes.com

Lectures delve into local issues

Eben Harrell

Ever wondered what it would be like to go back to high school? Ever thought to yourself how much more you’d take out of lectures now that you’ve got some years and experience under your belt?A local nonprofit is sponsoring a lecture series designed to give you that chance. Parents, teachers and interested adults can join around 45 high school students from Basalt to Glenwood Springs on Monday evenings to participate in a lecture and follow-up discussion.The event is organized by Tomorrow’s Voices, a nonprofit affiliated with the Roaring Fork School District that offers high school students a college-level class on Monday evenings throughout the school year. This semester, the class is titled “Topics in Political Science: Ethics and the Environment.” Each Monday through March, the class is opened to the public and a speaker is brought in to lecture on the environment. On Feb. 28, for example, Tweeti Blancett, a New Mexico rancher who has gained national attention through her stance against oil and gas drilling in the West, will speak about her experiences as an activist. Tomorrow’s Voices spokeswoman Julie Goldstein said having a lecture on an issue currently impacting Garfield and Pitkin counties shows students the immediacy of the issues addressed in the course.”Tomorrow’s Voices is about encouraging local high school students to engage with complex real world issues,” Goldstein said. “So opening the class to the public and having a wide-ranging debate fits right into that goal.”Tomorrow’s Voices was founded four years ago by Willard Clapper, a former Aspen Middle School teacher and A.O. Forbes, a high school instructor from Colorado Rocky Mountain School. The duo wanted to encourage students to engage and take positions on different ethical issues.”Kids are leaving high school these days feeling that their voices aren’t important,” Clapper said. “But that’s not so. What decision-makers want to hear is informed, intelligent young people talking about what the future looks like. These open lectures are for those in the community who feel the same way.” Tomorrow’s Voices’ evening courses are open to any high school student living between Basalt and Glenwood Springs. Students can earn both high school credit and credits at the University of Colorado.The public lectures take place at the Roaring Fork High School Auditorium at 7 p.m. Besides Tweeti Blancett Feb. 28, speakers include Aspen-born hybrid-car researcher Jon Fox-Rubin on March 7, and Rocky Mountain Institute renewable-resources advocate Chris Page on March 14. Call 927-3502 for more information.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com

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