If you have opinions and knowledge about issues relating to U.S. foreign policy, but you’re afraid to express yourself because of the pervasive divisiveness that seems to exist in our country today, Mount Pleasant Regional Library has a program series for you.

Great Decisions is a program designed by the non-profit Foreign Policy Association (FPA). Every year, FPA chooses eight topics of importance to U.S. foreign policy, prepares a briefing book with a chapter on each topic, and encourages communities to form discussion groups. In 2020, Mount Pleasant Regional Library will hold discussion meetings as follows:

Upcoming meetings

  • Jan. 21, 23 – Climate Change and the Global Order
  • Jan. 28, 30 – India and Pakistan
  • Feb. 4, 6 – Red Sea Security
  • Feb. 11, 13 – Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
  • Feb. 18, 20 – U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle
  • Feb. 25, 27 – China’s Road into Latin America
  • March 3, 5 – The Philippines and the U.S.
  • March 10, 12 – Artificial Intelligence and Data

We have two dates for each topic and we meet from 2-4 p.m. each day; you may come to either or both sessions that week. Anyone is welcome to join the discussions, but anyone who attends should have read the chapter of the briefing book related to the day’s topic.

There are two facets of Great Decisions that I believe are most important. First, you don’t have to be an expert on the topics to join the discussions. Just read the briefing book to be prepared. Second – and more important – is the basic tenet of Great Decisions that everyone in the group can have a voice, as long as everyone is respectful of others’ voices. It is this tenet that leads to civil discussion. Focusing on policy rather than politics also helps.

How do you obtain a copy of the briefing book? By the time you read this article, I may have a few copies available which I will sell on a first-come, first-served basis for the cover price of $32. If you’re interested in buying one, please contact me at frohnsdorffs@ccpl.org or (843) 849-6161. You may also purchase a book directly from fpa.org. But no one has to buy the book, since we always hold a copy at the Information Desk for in-library use only.

If the dates at Mount Pleasant Regional Library don’t suit you, several other branches are also planning Great Decisions program series. Call us at (843) 849-6161 for more information. Wherever you attend, I hope you will join the discussion.

Upcoming Programs:

  • STAR Therapy Dogs (all ages)

Saturday, Dec. 21 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Read aloud to a furry friend in a calm, happy, positive environment. Great for beginner and nervous readers to help build confidence and self-esteem.

  • Coffee and Conversation (adults)

Monday, Dec. 23 from 10-11:30 a.m.

Socialize with other seniors, and enjoy coffee and a breakfast treat.

Susan Frohnsdorff is the manager of Mt. Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464, 843-849-6161. She can be reached at frohnsdorffs@ccpl.org.