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Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa

Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa


The Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps engage communities in discussions of important public issues.

Our aim is to improve the way communities are able to talk through complex issues so that we can arrive at better decisions. Deliberation requires open spaces for people from diverse backgrounds to come together, good and fair information to help structure the conversation, and skilled facilitators to guide the process. The CPL provides the resources, training, and support that communities need to begin the process of deliberative dialogue that is geared toward positive community change.

The Center for Public Life uses tools for public problem solving proven over 30+ years in urban and rural communities around the United States.

As a nonpartisan entity, we are available to assist local government, schools, and community organizations in problem-solving difficult and complex issues. We start by working with the community to research and develop useful background material that can be used to inform community dialogue around the issue. Then we work with community partners to invite those affected by the issue into the room. Next, we train community members in small group facilitation and strategies to guide participants through these difficult conversations. Finally, we provide consultation and support for implementing action ideas that emerge from the dialogues.

What We Do

  • Serve as a resource for communities that are struggling to address complex public problems
  • Increase capacity for effective public problem-solving in communities
  • Engage communities in public problem-solving using trained facilitators to guide the community through deliberative dialogue and action planning to address an issue of concern
  • Work with communities to name and frame issues for public deliberation and public problem solving;
  • Assist with the problem-solving process through civic skill-building opportunities for community members, and supporting action teams
  • Partner with community members as co-researchers to map the effects of social forces and public policies and how community members work together to address public problems. 

We partner with communities to address complex public problems through:

  • Community facilitator training
  • Consultation on the development of dialogue issue guides
  • Support and technical assistance with all phases of the dialogue-to-action process
    • Organizing
    • Community Dialogues
    • Community Action
    • Community-driven assessment and evaluation
  • Links to secure the resources necessary for deliberation
  • Open spaces for community members to come together
  • Good and fair information around which to structure the dialogues
  • Trained facilitators to guide the process
  • Partnerships for community-driven participatory research to strengthen communities


For more information about the Center for Public Life and community deliberative dialogues, contact our faculty coordinators:

Tami Moore, Ph.D.

Mike Stout, Ph.D.

Center for Public Life at OSU-Tulsa News