Democracy in Practice
A diverse people can self-govern

“There's a million things I haven't done but just you wait. Just you wait.” Expanding the franchise of citizenship.

In the brilliant score from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s opus “Hamilton: The Musical” we’re reminded that our founding ideals are a work in progress.

Almost 250 years ago our framers set America on a course to realize an ideal when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Of course their words represented breathtaking hypocrisy, as many owned slaves – and there was no contemplation that perhaps women too were created equal. But the quest they started us on to come ever-closer to realizing this ideal has been the grist of American democracy ever since. As a people, we’ve taken steps forward and backward, lurched ahead and fallen back, but the lantern of “created equal” still burns bright lighting the path ahead. We’ll discuss our progress in extending the franchise of citizenship to historically marginalized groups — getting them into “the room where it happens” as Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote of so eloquently in the Broadway play “Hamilton.” (Shout-out to anyone who’ll come and sing it for us.)

Possible panelists: NAACP rep, social justice leaders. It is powerful to get people with these concerns to your program to feel a part of the American experiment rather than alienated from it (given that, I’d say it’s less important to have a conservative balance in this particular program).