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We The People Declaration: A Call for Dialogue

In June 2004, Let’s Talk America and the Democracy In America Project, two dialogue initiatives aimed at healing the left-right divide, co-hosted two dozen thought leaders from across the political spectrum at the Seasons Conference Center at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to explore the potential to bridge their political differences through dialogue. It worked better than anyone dared hope. Shared concerns and perspectives bubbled up in the space of dialogue that never show their faces in debates. On June 13, 2004, after two and a half days of powerful dialogue, the group decided to sign a declaration.

Joseph McCormick was co-founder of this initiative.

The “We The People Declaration”

We the people, gathered at the Season’s Conference Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan, June 11-13, 2004, seeking to form a more perfect Union now in 21st Century America, declare:

We cherish our country and the founding ideals and institutions on which it stands;

We respect our differences and recognize America needs every one of our viewpoints, ideas, and passions — even those we don¹t agree with — to keep our democracy vital and alive;

We recognize that meeting here and across our land for dialogues across differences builds trust, understanding, respect, and empowerment — the conditions necessary for freedom and democracy to live in us and around us;

And, therefore, each still grounded in our own considered views (conscience and convictions), we commit ourselves and our communities of interest to foster dialogue across the many divides in America, in large and small groups, to build trust, insight, and inspired action toward the more perfect union we all desire;

And we support the work of Let’s Talk America and Democracy in America Project — and other efforts — to bring Americans into conversations that are inclusive, non-partisan, respectful and open — guided by hosts and ground rules that allow all the voices of “We the People” to be heard.

Signed this 13 day of June, 2004:

Bob Barr, Bob Barr Enterprises, Inc.
Joseph McCormick, Democracy in America Project
A. Lawrence Chickering, Project on Community Engagement and Education
Michael Toms, New Dimensions Foundation
Susan Partnow, Partnow Communications
Leif Utne, Utne Magazine
Carl A. Fillichio, The Council for Excellence in Government
Thomas F. Beech, Fetzer Institute
Mark Satin, Radical Middle Newsletter
Jeffrey B. Peters, We The People
Joseph Goldman, AmericaSpeaks
Virginia Sloan, The Constitution Project
Bill Thomson, Christian Coalition
Vicki Robin, Conversation Cafe
David Keene, American Conservative Union
Laura Chasin, Public Conversations Project
Mark Gerzon, Mediators Foundation
Shirley J. Wilcher, Wilcher Global, LLC
Tom Atlee, Co-Intelligence Institute
Pat Spino, Democracy in America Project
Marian S. Moore, Utne Institute/Let’s Talk America
Julie A. Ristau, Utne Institute/Let’s Talk America

Resource Link: www.democracycampaign.org/declaration.html (this site is no longer active)

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