January 18, 2019

Dear Colleagues,
"How many of our congressional members have struggled to afford health care? Or had to work their way through college? How many were raised by a single mom or started off at community college?" These words of Sharice Lynette Davids -- who took office January 3, 2019, U.S. Representative for Kansas's 3rd congressional district -- are among the more than 1,100 quotes in our new "Language of Democracy" resource.

"When you're making policy that affects everyone," she continues, "everyone should have a say in that discussion. When I was implementing federal policy on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and when I was creating it as a White House Fellow, I saw first-hand the disconnect that exists when decision makers have no connection to the communities they're impacting. I saw that one new voice can change the entire conversation."

In this update, we celebrate the many voices influencing the conversation through this wealth of democracy quotes, two new Practicing Democracy guides, February democracy mentors, and an array of books and films.

Don't miss the Fellowship Opportunity. We would love to have any of you who qualify apply. Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 1. Please spread the word!

Salaam, Shalom, Shanti, Peace,

The Practicing Democracy Project Team

The Language of Democracy 
by Habib Todd Boerger 
Reap the benefits of a remarkable quest into quotations about democracy, categorized by the values, virtues, and practices they represent. Use this collection to enhance your understanding, inspire your writing or talks, or share with others who are yearning to understand the many facets of democracy. 
Fellowship Opportunity
With Spirituality & Practice and the Fetzer Institute

Would you like to contribute to a wide-ranging effort to help shape America's democracy for the common good of all? Or do you know someone else who would? Three fellows will be chosen to work with the  Practicing Democracy Project during 2019. Read more and apply:

Practicing Democracy Guides
By Mary Ann Brussat and Kristin Ritzau

Democracy can be strengthened through spiritual practices -- both those considered to be "inner work" and those that encourage active engagement with our neighbors and communities. Our first two guides give you specific ways to practice democracy with children and with your faith community.  

Rosa Parks
worked with the NAACP and is best known for sparking the Montgomery bus boycott by bravely refusing to give up her bus seat when, due to racist policies, that meant arrest.    
Adlai Stevenson was a cultivated and articulate Democrat who twice ran for the U.S. Presidency and was a skilled negotiator as the U.S.'s Ambassador to the United Nations.  
A.J. Muste, a Dutch-born American clergyman and trade-union activist, gave a vibrant example of Christian nonviolence that illuminated the value of holding fast to ideals regardless of consequences. 
Marian Anderson, a celebrated contralto and delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, used her stature to help African-American artists overcome racism.  

Fault Lines
By Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer
A cogent and rip-roaring account of the recent history of a divided America. 
The Gifted Generation
By David Goldfield
An edifying history lesson on when and why the U.S. government worked. 
Behold, America
By Sarah Churchwell
A well-argued examination of some of the darker sides of American racism, nationalism, and political impotence. 
Leadership in Turbulent Times
By Doris Kearns Goodwin
A guide to the character qualities of a transformational leader.  
The Hell of Good Intentions
By Stephen M. Walt
A depressing report on the short-sightedness of the American foreign policy establishment.   
A Call for Revolution
By His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Sofia Stril-Rever
A challenge to this generation of youth to care for the earth and develop their capacity for compassion.

Creating a World Without Poverty
By Muhammad Yunus
A visionary work on shaking up the world with new social businesses.

Religious Freedom
By Tisa Wenger
A riveting book about religious freedom's encounter with the dark clouds of white supremacy, empire, and racial prejudice.

Soul Force
By Reesheda Graham-Washington, Shawn Casselberry
A way of life that unleashes power for positive change.

These Truths
By Jill Lepore
A bold, well-written, and immersive one-volume history of the United States.

America: The Farewell Tour
By Chris Hedges
A prophetic critique of the United States designed to get Americans thinking about what is being lost.
Can It Happen Here?
By Cass R. Sunstein, editor
A thought-provoking collection of essays that asks where the United States is heading. 

These films about democratic values are now available on DVD:

King in the Wilderness
Directed by Peter Kunhardt
An extraordinary documentary on the last 18 months of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s selfless and harrowing spiritual journey. 
The King 
Directed by Eugene Jarecki
A documentary about the rise and decline of Elvis Presley as a metaphor for the rise and decline of America. 
Little Pink House
Directed by Courtney Moorehead Balaker
A vehement critique of economic injustice, class warfare, and corporate power.
Fahrenheit 11/9
Directed by Michael Moore
A powerful, even frightening, documentary on what's happening to America's democracy.  
Pope Francis -- A Man of HIs Word
Directed by Wim Wenders
An inspiring profile of the Catholic Pope who truly walks his talk about love, mercy, and service.  
The Practicing Democracy Project is a collaboration between The Center for Spirituality & Practice and the Fetzer Institute. Seek more at PracticingDemocracy.net