The following is from https://www.facebook.com/TheDreyfussInitiative/info:
The Dreyfuss Initiative is a nonprofit corporation formed to revive, elevate and enhance the teaching of civics in public schools grades k-12 in the USA.
Research over the past fifty years has demonstrated that the average American has, to say the least, a rather poor understanding of Civic Knowledge. But, by example, America has made democracy the governance system of choice.
Democracy, in any incarnation is the only governing system that requires some engagement by the civic body. In one fashion or another, sooner or later, the sovereignty of the people is the difference between democracy and monarchy, theocracy and totalitarianism or any other system that has been devised thus far; so that the people, as sovereign, the responsible party who ultimately makes the decisions, is the irresistible “sell” to the world, that makes Democracy America’s most successful product.
Democracy argues that people are responsible for and can control their own lives, that they have a role in affecting their future, of improving their present, of achieving participation in the pursuit of their own happiness. The youth of America needs certain skills to become great sovereigns. These skills have been taught, will be taught and must be taught to each generation of Americans, because no gene will ever be found that passes along civic expertise and knowing how to run a republican democracy. It must be taught in realistic terms such as how do you explore the substance of an issue? The necessity of debate, the ability to stand against popular opinion or the majority view and the raising up of the values of dissent and civility. In a nation founded by dissenters, we shoot dissenters on sight. Civility is not just manners, it is the oxygen that democracy requires.
For political activist inspiration, I recommend:
- Amazing Grace by Bristol Bay Productions. This movie is based on the life of William Wilberforce–his passion and perseverance to pass a law ending the slave trade in the late 18th Century–and the people, including his minister, who pushed him to pursue it to the end. the story of William Wilberforce’s dedicated political moves that led to abolition of slavery in England. This movie is available at our local library.
- Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas. This 10-hour audiobook tells the story of the remarkable life of the British abolitionist William Wilberforce [1759-1833], and his extraordinary role as a human rights activist, cultural reformer, and member of Parliament. At the center of this heroic life was a passionate twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade, a battle Wilberforce won in 1807, as well as efforts to abolish slavery itself in the British colonies, a victory achieved just three days before his death in 1833. This is a man of whom it can truly be said: he changed the world. Before Wilberforce, few thought slavery was wrong. After Wilberforce, most societies in the world came to see it as a great moral wrong.