ON-Lion Letter
In late November, The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., will host an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of To Empower People:  The Role of Mediating Structures in Public Policy.  The 45-page book by Peter Berger and Fr. Richard John Neuhaus has been one of the most-significant intellectual influences on domestic policy and the nonprofit sector during the past three decades.

In To Empower People, published by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) in Washington, Berger and Neuhaus introduced the classic analysis that a healthy nation relies on the institutions of civil society -- neighborhoods, families, churches, and voluntary institutions -- to mediate between individual citizens and the large bureaucratic "megastructures" of big government, big labor, and big business.  Their thinking has informed much of that which The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee has done in its grantmaking.  

Berger now directs Boston University's Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (ICRWA).  Neuhaus is president of The Institute on Religion and Public Life (IRPL) in New York City and editor-in-chief of First Things magazine.

The Heritage conference, "Civil Society, Mediating Institutions, and Domestic Policy:  To Empower People after 30 Years," will revisit their original argument and subsequent attempts to design particular policies consistent with it, including welfare reform and the faith-based initiative. 

William A. Schambra of the Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal at the Hudson Institute in D.C. will moderate a discussion with Berger and Neuhaus.  A second panel will feature, among others, Robert L. Woodson, Sr., of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) and Ryan Streeter of Civic Enterprises, both of which are also in Washington.  Streeter is associated with Hudson, as well.

Bradley supports Heritage, AEI, projects at ICRWA, First Things, the work of Schambra and Streeter at Hudson, and CNE.
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