Common Ground Project

Common Ground will be held on January 15, 2015, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Union Collegiate Academy, 6636 S. Mingo Road. This program is targeted to school faculty, administrators, board members and community leaders. Admission to the event is $25 and lunch is included. Please RSVP by January 8, 2015 to

Charles C. Haynes, Ph.D. and Oliver Thomas, Esq., Finding Common Ground, A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Education.

[F]inding common ground on many of the issues that divide us is possible within the civic framework provided by the Religious Liberty clauses of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The key is for all sides to step back from the debate and to give fresh consideration to the democratic first principles that bind us together as a people. Then, in light of our shared civic commitments, we can work for policies and practices in public education that best protect the conscience of every student and parent in our schools.

The Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice (“OCCJ”) Common Ground Committee, chaired by Dr. Cathy Burden, Superintendent of the Union Public School District, works to foster understanding around the issue of religion in the public schools in the context of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Working in conjunction with The First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, OCCJ brings experts to Oklahoma who present a framework for addressing issues of religion in the public schools in the context of the First Amendment. These experts also address particular issues of local concern raised by seminar participants. Typically, the Common Ground seminars have two sessions: one for students and one for administrators, educators and school board members from across the state. Seminars are usually scheduled every two years. Please check back on this website for upcoming dates.

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