A collaboration of The Center for Spirituality & Practice and the Fetzer Institute

April 6, 2019
Content Update
Dear Colleagues,
You may have noticed in the most recent emails from us that our messages now take three different forms:

Content Updates, like this one, help you find the Practicing Democracy Project additions since the last time we wrote.
Practice Alerts, like the one in mid-March about the sanctity of life, respond to current events and concerns.

Conversation Invitations, like the recent one about our new social media campaign, let you know about TweetChats, Facebook meetings, and in-person opportunities to exchange thoughts.
Many thanks to those of you who have followed through on our invitation to respond, re-tweet, share, promote, and like our posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! We depend on you to spread the word about what we are doing to your own networks and stimulate online conversation about strengthening democracy. 

Salaam, Shalom, Shanti, Peace,

The Practicing Democracy Project Team

Children's Books about Practicing Democracy

Democracy begins with the young, who can translate elementary concepts about fairness and kindness into more complex understandings of equality and the common good. We are excited about a new section of our Practicing Democracy Project which shares children's book reviews on how to love your enemies, empathy for refugees, fighting for equal rights, and other democracy topics for preschool and elementary school children.  

New in Democracy Mentors 
Maya Angelou, remembered equally as a poet and social justice giant, reminds us to rise from a history of slavery, lies, and discrimination.
Paul Robeson, internationally acclaimed as a concert performer and actor, spoke out against racism even when he was put under FBI surveillance.
Dolores Huerta, one of the most influential labor leaders of our time, was the co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the National Farmworkers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).  
Amy Goodman, co-founder of the independent news hour Democracy Now, is an award-winning journalist and writer who tirelessly advocates for the necessity of independent media.
New in Flashpoints in American History
Anniversary of Apollo 13 Moon Mission. When an explosion crippled a moon-bound U.S. spacecraft, the crew became inspiring models of teamwork, patience, and resilience. 

Films on Practicing Democracy
 The Best of Enemies
Directed by Robin Bissell 
This feature film is based on the true story of an African-American community organizer and the president of the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Durham, North Carolina, in 1971. They were the co-chairs of a "charrette," a conflict resolution process using community discussions among diverse interests to decide whether or not to de-segregate the schools. This is a remarkable film of hope, daring, and vision that illustrates how enemies can become friends.

Directed by Alison Klayman 
This brisk and zippy documentary covers a period in the life of Steve Bannon, the former Trump advisor, from his exit from the White House in 2017 to the midterms of 2018. Even after his fall from glory, he demonstrates that he is a survivor who keeps reinventing himself.

Time for Ilhan
Directed by Norah Shapiro 
Ilhan Omar, the first naturalized citizen from Africa to be elected to Congress and first woman to wear a hijab on the floor of Congress, came to America after living in a refugee camp and so serves as a symbol of an immigrant's quest for acceptance. This documentary gives us a profile of her perseverance and the process of political participation.

Books on Practicing Democracy 

Far Country
By Franco Moretti
With panache and philosophical finesse, this thought-provoking collection of university lectures on fiction, drama, art, and film probes the ways in which artistic language and style shape American culture.
A Hard Rain
By Frye Gaillard
Award-winning journalist Frye Gaillard conveys the ethical and spiritual dimensions of hope, possibility, and lost innocence during the complex and compelling decade of the 1960s.      

Saving Capitalism
By Robert B. Reich
This ambitious study of inequality makes a case for fixing building blocks of capitalism -- property, monopoly, contract, bankruptcy, and enforcement -- that play right into the hands of the rich and the powerful.
We the People Book Club
New April Discussion Guide

In April the We the People Book Club sets side-by-side two authors who might be considered a literary father and son: James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Baldwin's The Fire Next Time provided inspiration for Coates' Between the World and Me, both offering incisive commentary on white violence and complicity through the intimate reflection of writing to a loved one. Click here to download a free Reading Guide to these books. If you'd like to sign up for a live discussion, you can so here:
Discover more at PracticingDemocracy.net