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Committing to Building Our Nation’s Capacity for Democracy

Today is Inauguration Day, and the scene in the nation’s capitol is one of stark differences. The country’s new administration is officially taking power amid both large protests and large celebrations, and the picture clearly reflects to us that, over the next four years, we in the field of dialogue and deliberation have our work cut out for us. A functioning democracy depends on people who disagree, often deeply, still having the capacity to listen and talk to one another and make decisions together. And today in DC, the need – and the opportunity – for the D&D field to work on building that capacity is on full display.

To help us reflect on the work ahead we wanted to share a piece penned by NCDD member Kyle Bozentko of the Jefferson Center that, though it was written shortly after the election, still holds much truth for today as well. We encourage you to read the piece below or find the original here.


The Future of Our Democracy

Regardless of your feelings about its outcome, this election has brought the divides in our country into sharp relief – divisions that threaten the health and vibrancy of our shared democracy.

Together, our country faces serious challenges. These challenges take different forms in different communities. We know, though, that communities have the capacity to address these issues and advocate for themselves.

That’s why our work envisions a different kind of democracy. A democracy where civic participation extends beyond the ballot box. A democracy that empowers citizens to solve problems, develop policy, meaningfully influence decision making, and inspire action. A democracy where all citizens, regardless of their differences, join together to create stronger communities and a thriving nation.

Today, we reaffirm our commitment to an inclusive democracy. We will continue to strive for accountability in our democratic institutions, for action and policy that responds to the ambitions of all Americans, for a unified expression of our power as citizens to shape the course of our lives…

Whether you’re feeling excited about the possibilities for change in America, or anger and despair at the uncertainty of our shared future, or both, there’s work to do today. Let’s get to it.

You can find the original version of this Jefferson Center blog piece at www.jefferson-center.org/the-future-of-our-democracy.

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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