University of Mississippi ENACT Students Meet with Lobbyists and Legislative Staffers

Students with Pete Smith, Chief of Communication and Government Relations, Department of Education (left); and Laurie J. Smith, Education Policy Advisor for the Governor (3rd from right)

Students with Pete Smith, Chief of Communication and Government Relations, Department of Education (left); and Laurie J. Smith, Education Policy Advisor for the Governor (3rd from right)

March 7, 2017

On March 7th, ENACT Faculty Fellow James Slack and a group of eight students from his University of Mississippi ENACT seminar visited the Mississippi State Capitol and the national office of Parents for Public Schools. Thanks to the support of the ENACT program, based out of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University, they are enlivening their course work this semester by intently researching state-level policy. 

"We met with both lobbyists and state public servants to study an education bill in depth," says Dr. Slack. "In addition to learning about the legislature and the lobbyists, we are exploring the bureaucracy – which has a tremendous ability to influence legislation, especially in citizen-based (not professional) legislatures without staff."

At the national office of Parents for Public Schools, Dr. Slack's students met with Nita Rudy, the program director of Parents for Public Schools; Kelly Riley, Executive Director of Mississippi Professional Educators; Shannon Eubanks, from Better Schools Better Jobs; and Cindy Cash White, from Parents' Campaign for Better Schools Brighter Future. 

At the Governor's office, the class met with Pete Smith, Chief of Communication and Government Relations, Department of Education; and Dr. Laurie J. Smith, Education & Workforce Development Policy Advisor for Governor Phil Bryant. 

Dr. Slack's students are from the Department of Public Policy Leadership, the academic unit of the Trent Lott Leadership Institute, at The University of Mississippi. 

1.1

At the national office of Parents for Public Schools. (Back, l-r) Ethan Wright, Jaz Brisack, Hunter Traffica, Nita Rudy, Kelly Riley, Shannon Eubanks, James D. Slack; (Front, l-r) Nestor Delgado, Olivia Heuser, Stephen Chavez, Ms. Cindy Cash White, Laryssa McBeath.

About ENACT

ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation is a new national program to engage young people in state-level legislative change. Students enrolled in courses taught by ENACT faculty fellows at colleges and universities in or near state capitals around the country are learning how to work with advocacy organizations, legislators and legislative staff members to advance policy. For more information, visit go.brandeis.edu/ENACT.