William Isom

Announcing our Second 2017 Program

 Media, Public Discourse and Democracy Program May 12-13

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is offering a free program titled Media, Public Discourse & Democracy on May 12 – 13 and everyone is invited to attend. The presenter is William Isom, Director of Community Outreach for East TN PBS and Coordinator of the Rural Broadband Campaign.

           Fri. May 12:
A free and open media is essential to civic engagement and public discourse on policy and social concerns. Unfortunately, commercial interests often overshadow the mandate for education and dissemination of important information. We will review how the foundations of journalism have been derailed since the 1960s and discuss how community members are proactively creating their own democratic media outlets in the South.

Sat. May 13:
With the advent of new technologies, amazing organizing tools are now available to social justice workers, thus increasing their ability to reach thousands within and outside of their own areas. In rural TN, however, those tools aren’t necessarily accessible, many times due to poor, expensive or nonexistent broadband internet service. We will hear about collaborative grassroots efforts aimed at closing the digital divide in mountain communities, the challenges and successes of this work and how increased publicly-owned options can foster local participation in civic life across issues.
William Isom

The program will take place in Adshead Hall on the lower level of Fletcher House on the Uplands Village campus in Pleasant Hill. It begins on Friday evening with a potluck supper at 5:30 pm, followed by the program from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Those who don’t choose to attend the supper are more than welcome to come just for the program that begins at 6:30. On Saturday, the program opens with a complimentary continental breakfast at 8:30 am, followed by the program from 9 – 10:30 am. There is no charge to attend, although a freewill offering is suggested.

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is a non-profit educational center that provides opportunities for holistic education in areas of social, economic, cultural, ecological, ethical, and theological importance on behalf of shalom (wholeness, health, and peace). Through quality programs, workshops and courses the Shalom Center seeks to engage those in the community in a learning process that is lifelong, inclusive, imaginative and celebrative, recognizing the integrity of creation and the unity of its inhabitants.

The Shalom Center offers a number of free one and two-day programs every year, as well as many six-week “Shalom Short Courses” for which there is a nominal charge of $20 per course. To learn more about new programs and courses being offered, send your email to  to be put on the mailing list, or visit the Shalom Center website at