In President Barack Obama's farewell address he spoke of the responsibilities of democratic citizenship. He reminded us that though "the work of democracy has always been hard," it is necessary. The rights we cherish as Americans have "never been self-executing." "Through the instrument of our democracy," the people of this country must work to secure those rights and continue the forward motion that defines America. Our potential as a nation "can only be realized if our democracy works," and in order to make it work we need to "restore a sense of common purpose" while also acknowledging that "democracy does not require uniformity." We will have differences of opinion. We will debate and argue and challenge and strive, but we must also recognize that "we are all in this together, that we rise or fall as one. And all of this depends on our participation, on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings." His speech was more than a goodbye to his role as President. It was an essential call to action for civic engagement. That call to citizenship goes out to all of us.
"Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen."
As members of a local, national, and global community, we challenge you to heed this call to action and participate in our 30-Day Responsible Citizenship Challenge. We've created a calendar of challenge actions that we hope will promote democratic values and help people engage and interact with one another respectfully. Please join us. You can register for the challenge by completing this form.
We look forward to seeing you in action!
-Mrs. Janovitz's English classes