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Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
-Proverbs 3:27

Does every child have the opportunity for an excellent education? Are our schools excellent?

Join the discussion with…

Clark Durant, Founder of Cornerstone Schools—Detroit, Michigan
Gary Naeyaert, Executive Director of Great Lakes Education Project
Andre Ebron, Cornerstone Schools Parent and Blended Learning Coach
Reid Gough, the founder of a Cornerstone project powered by Circuit Learning


What will it take for every child in America to have an excellent education? How can we inspire our next generation to have strong character, an appreciation for free enterprise, a deep understanding of the Constitution, and an appreciation for America’s greatness?

Come and hear from Clark Durant. Twenty three years ago, Clark worked with Adam Cardinal Maida, civic and church leaders, to create an exceptional school in Detroit. Cornerstone now serves over 2000 students in its private and charters schools and is great example of why school choice works.


Clark Durant, President New Common Schools Foundation, Co-founder of Cornerstone Schools, a Board member of Excellent Schools Detroit and a former President of the State Board of Education will tell the Cornerstone story, offer insights about the state of education in Detroit, Michigan and America, and will suggest what is needed to provide educational excellence for every child.

Gary Naeyaert, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Education Project, will give an expert’s analysis of education legislation and issues facing the Michigan legislature and policy makers.

Andre Ebron, Cornerstone Parent and blended learning coach at the charter schools, will discuss the importance of building a broad and beloved community to support students. The involvement of parents, businesses, and volunteer partners, is an important example of how building civil society and volunteerism can accomplish great things for students.

Reid Gough, the CEO of Circuit Learning is the former President of Heald College Online, the Online Division President of the Anthem Education Group, and formerly the founding Dean of the School of Technology and Davenport University Online.

When & Where:

Wayne County: Monday, November 11 th, 6:30 p.m. Pizza & Reception, 7:00 p.m. remarks & discussion. Washington Parks Academy, 11685 Appleton in Redford, MI 48239

Macomb County: Tuesday, November 12th, 6:30 p.m. Pizza & Reception, 7:00 p.m. remarks & discussion. Warren Community Center Rm 420, 5460 Arden in Warren, MI 48092

Oakland County: Wednesday, November 13, 6:30 p.m. Pizza & Reception, 7:00 p.m. remarks & discussion. Troy Community Center Rm 303, 3179 Livernois in Troy, MI 48083

If you would like to participate in this symposium, please contact:

Rene Pettengill, Michigan Opportunity Society, 248-797-0829

Andy Anuzis, New Centurion Civil Society Initiative, 517-974-2949

New Centurion Foundation presents…
“Beauty Will Save the World”—It’s the Culture

Topic: Political Strategist James Carville famously said: “It’s the economy, stupid,” to properly focus the 1992 presidential contest around the economy. Our symposium will stipulate “It’s the culture, stupid,” to broaden the discussion about how conservatives can view American life and how we can make a positive impact. We will examine some of the ideas embraced by “Crunchy Cons”—a stream of conservatism devoted to seeking and preserving what is good, true, and beautiful in our culture, with an emphasis on place, localism, and communitarianism.

When: Saturday, September 28th, 3:00–6:00 p.m., followed by an optional dinner and campfire
Location: 15300 W. Austin Rd., Manchester, MI (between Manchester and Norvell)
Presenters: Dr. Jeffrey Bilbro Ph.D., Artist Kathleen Thorrez and Darrin Moore

  • Jeffrey Bilbro is a Spring Arbor University English faculty member and a noted Wendell Berry scholar.
  • Kathleen Thorrez is a Jackson-area political and community activist. She is also an accomplished Mosaic, Graphic and Metalworking Artist. She will show some of her work, featuring “Memoirs of Madonna” and discuss art, creativity, and how the expressive creative process directs her efforts and potentially impacts or reflects politics, culture and our society.
  • Darrin Moore is a Grosse Isle resident, a scholar of Conservative thought, contributor to the Imaginative Conservative journal of ideas. Darrin is an expert in the works of Russell Kirk and has widely read Roger Scruton’s works, and will comment on Scruton’s ideas of culture, place, and Scruton’s recent book on Green Conservatism.

Symposium Description:

Our symposium will focus on the idea that politics matter, but perhaps culture matters more. Politics flows downstream from our culture. Eighteenth century British philosopher (and Member of Parliament) Edmund Burke is considered the progenitor of Conservatism. Burke’s emphasis was on preserving the “little platoons” of society—the pillars that create a good social order: family, community, church, etc…and that conservatives ought to be deeply committed to preserving what is good, true, and beautiful in our culture. The founder of American Conservatism, Russell Kirk echoed consistent ideas that encourage us to look beyond the political fractiousness of the day, and take a larger and deeper view of things:

“At bottom, then, conservatism is not a matter of economic interests and economic theories; not matter of political systems; not a matter of power or preferment. If we penetrate to the root, we discover that ‘conservatism’ is a way of looking at the human condition. --Russell Kirk Author and Social critic Wendell Berry defies any Left-Right characterization, but he is a leading thinker in America’s communitarian tradition. “Our environmental problems, moreover, are not, at root, political; they are cultural. As Edward Abbey knows and has been telling us, our country is not being destroyed by bad politics; it is being destroyed by a bad way of life. Bad politics is merely another result. To see that the problem is far more than political is to return to reality..." --Wendell Berry

We hope to prompt a discussion, at the symposium and after, which will revolve around these central themes:

  • Does culture matter more than politics, and if so, what can we do to restore the culture?
  • What is the function of politics and economics and how can they help shape “the good life.” How does the conservative describe what is “good” in our social order, politics and economics?
  • What institutions are important to creating a more vibrant civil society?
  • How can the works for Burke, Kirk, Berry and Scruton influence our personal thinking and the thought of our culture at large?
  • What types of movements are happening currently that are impacting civil society in a positive way and how can we help these movements grow?
  • If we as conservatives are concerned about an expanding federal government, what can we do to create a culture less dependent on federal policies and programs – and help restore our communities?

We will send a reading list to those who are interested, to familiarize you with the “Crunchy Con” strain of conservatism. We will also include the works of traditionalists like Russell Kirk, Wendell Berry, Roger Scruton, and others who are concerned with the preservation of what Russell Kirk called “the Permanent Things.” If you would like to participate in this symposium, please contact: Andy Anuzis, New Centurion Civil Society Initiative: 517-974-2949


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