Renewing our commitment to the Declaration – Press Enterprise


The Declaration of Independence, written 245 years ago, sparked a revolution that contributed to the birth of the country. The “obvious” power of truth of the Declaration is also today for strong human rights and democracy by proclaiming that everything is created equally and endowed with certain inviolable rights by the Creator. Inspired by the global movement of. Pursuit of life, freedom and happiness. “

As we emerge from turbulent years of pandemics, racial strife, and political party polarization, it is worth returning to these fundamental truths and thinking about how they can help heal and rebuild incredibly diverse nations. there is. This weekend, July 4, a group of funders, thinkers, creators and community leaders launched a new declaration campaign (www.newdeclaration.com) calling on all communities to participate in reflection and creative expression. I go. Our aim is to strengthen our foundation before the 250th anniversary of the 2026 Declaration.

Our partners are located across the country, including the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, Ohio. The center has influenced the popular movement for creative expression across the country for over 35 years. Also included is Thomas Allen Harris, creator of Family Pictures USA, a nationally-released PBS documentary-style series. It has inspired hundreds of Americans to share family portraits and learn about the primary ways our history interacts through celebrations and struggles. It also includes the Census Legacy Project, which builds stronger communities and more complete regions based on the 2020 Census Outreach Program.

First, the Maryland Charitable Network and the Social Innovation Center at the University of California at Riverside will act as incubators and accelerators to build and launch a five-year campaign to strengthen joint efforts for interdependence, equity and unity. We support. We aim to participate in all state and regional communities, including coastal and inland, urban and rural, red and blue. And as we begin the next 250-year story, we’ll quickly build, enhance, and amplify a movement that involves and supports diverse artists, writers, storytellers, and community leaders across the country. I hope that.

Our first year begins with a simple premise. How is the Declaration of Independence relevant and resonating today? Like the Living Constitution, the meaning of which is shaped as society and technology evolve, we tell Americans across the country what each of the “trivial truths” of the Declaration means to them and their communities. Encourage them to share their thoughts and creative expressions.

Take “life” as an example. What does it mean to be alive today? This issue is particularly painful as our country emerges from years of disease and death, resilience and renewal. Partners of the Wick Poetry Center and Each + Every Design Studio use advanced technology of crowdsourced creative expression through digital media to enable Americans across the country to submit their thoughts through text, images and of voice. We are building a platform that can be used. ..

This vibrant “Life” exhibit runs through September 2021 and will continue to reflect on the community about “Freedom” during the fall term. What does freedom mean to us today, especially in light of the various freedom movements at home and abroad? What does it mean to be truly free? And how do you avoid exercising your personal freedom without unduly harming others? In the winter quarter, we will deepen the pursuit of happiness. What does it mean to be happy? Wealth is not synonymous with happiness, but can we guarantee happiness for all in the face of poverty and growing inequalities?

Finally, next spring we encourage Americans to think about how they take ownership of the declaration. If they had the opportunity to add something meaningful to the document, what words and concepts would they choose to strengthen our country? Even if we recognize the freedom that is most important to us, is this a recognition of the obligations of our citizens? Or is it an affirmation of our common destiny and our interdependence across races, creeds and classes? Or is it another type of claim, which we consider more obvious today than the founder did two and a half centuries ago?

These are just the beginning. We are at an important turning point in this country as new technologies seem to divide us more than ever. Thank you for joining us on this journey. Over the next 250 years, we can create new initiatives that can unite our country.

Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy at the University of California, Riverside, and Maggie Gunther Osborn is president and CEO of the Maryland Charity Network.

Renewing our commitment to the Declaration – Press Enterprise Renewing our commitment to the Declaration – Press Enterprise

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