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

August 23, 2019
Content Update

Dear Colleagues,

We go to town hall meetings. We campaign on behalf of candidates whose platforms we support. We head to our local polling place and vote, or we send in an absentee ballot. But what about practicing democracy closer to home, indeed in the home?
"The human heart is the first home of democracy," observes American author Terry Tempest Williams. "It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions?" In our actual homes, these questions can serve as guidelines for our relationships with our family and housemates.

In our latest guide, Practicing Democracy at Home, you will find ideas for listening with respect, modeling equity in gender roles, holding family councils, and much more. You can download the guide as a pdf or view it online here .

You will find links for several additional Practicing Democracy guides on this Program Plans page . Thank you for bringing democratic values right into your household activities -- and for all else that you do to strengthen democracy. Please read on for more inspiration.

Salaam, Shalom, Shanti, Peace,

The Practicing Democracy Project Team

Upcoming in Democracy Mentors

Howard Zinn , the historian and socialist thinker, expressed his moral outrage against political leaders and power brokers who tolerate racial discrimination, class warfare, the massive effort to stamp out unions, the stifling of dissent, and the business-as-usual approach to war. "It remains to be seen," he wrote, "how many people in our time will make the journey from war to nonviolent action against war. It is the great challenge of our time: how to achieve justice — with struggle, but without war."

Films on Practicing Democracy

Directed by Pat McGee

The United States has been a nation of immigrants since its founding. The diversity and creativity brought by people from all over the world is an essential part of the country's versatility and resiliency. But this climate of hospitality has changed. The Deported , a YouTube Originals documentary now streaming for free on YouTube , examines immigration policy through the stories of four individuals who have orders of deportation hanging over their heads.

Books on Practicing Democracy

By Steven Pearlstein

In this hard-hitting book, Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist Pearlstein presents a cogent overview of capitalism during the 1980s when the slogan "Greed is Good" was widely embraced in the business community. He suggests some reforms and new policies: a universal basic-income policy paired with universal national service, new anti-trust legislation, tax savings for companies that share profits with workers, and equal educational opportunities.

Children's Books on Practicing Democracy

By Rene Colato Lainez

This Salvadoran author writes -- through the perspective of wear and tear on new shoes -- of his experience fleeing civil war to come to the United States. He reminds us that then as now, refugees flee from violence and crime: "Their journey is not a choice but a necessity to look for a better place, where they can accomplish their dreams." We strongly recommend that parents, teachers, and other caregivers read this book to children who are trying to understand what is happening today.

Here are more recommendations of books that help children understand democracy .
By Julia Davis and the S&P Team

As we round out the year of the We the People Book Club -- examining the values and visions of American life in literary selections -- we want to give you a complete list of the free downloadable guides:

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (September 2018)

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (October 2018)

A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor (November 2018)

Selected Poems of Walt Whitman and Maya Angelou (December 2018)

Tenth of December by George Saunders (January 2019)

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (February 2019)

Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain (March 2019)

Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (May 2019)

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (June 2019)

The Partly-Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell (July 2019)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (August 2019)

We will soon have the book club available in our on-demand system. If you would like to sign up while the club is still live so that you can have access to all the Practice Circle postings, including those by presenter Julia Davis, please hurry. This Monday, August 26, is the last day to register. The sign up page is here .
Discover more at PracticingDemocracy.net