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Our Common Purpose: The Complete Collection

In June 2020, the Kluge Center announced Danielle Allen as the winner of the Kluge Prize, launching the Our Common Purpose Campaign for Civic Strength at the Library of Congress. Allen hosted a series of exciting conversations at the Library to explore the nation’s civic life and ways that people from all political beliefs and social causes can build a stronger, more resilient democracy. Each event was accompanied by a workshop for K-12 educators and public librarians, in which teachers from across the country had the opportunity to connect, explore, experiment and create new ways of making civic ideals come to life in their classrooms.

“We all know that this is a critical and urgent moment in our nation’s history,” Allen said in announcing the series. “We have faced crises as a nation before. We can continue to watch and worry and tweet at each other – or we can emerge stronger and more resilient by taking real action now to save our constitutional democracy.”

One year later, we’ve completed the cycle of events and are thrilled to be able to share them with you here. Watch all three public events below, and click the links to read our blog posts that provide some background on each event’s themes as well as posts that pull out some of the highlights from each event.

Using Civic Media to Build a Better Society

Is Civic Media the Antidote to a Polarized World?

Is Civic Media the Answer to Trolls, Misinformation, and Abuse Online?

 

How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them

Our Common Purpose: Second Event Looks at Reforming Electoral Institutions

Why Reforming Electoral Institutions Might Be the Best Way to Change Policymaking

 

Finding a Shared Historical Narrative

What Makes Americans American? Why Origin Stories Require Negotiation

Wrestling with the Question of American Identity and Whether Consensus is Possible

 

Why Reforming Electoral Institutions Might Be the Best Way to Change Policymaking

On April 15, the John W. Kluge Center held its second event in the Our Common Purpose Series with Kluge Prize winner Danielle Allen. How Political Institutions Shape Outcomes and How We Might Reform Them convened a panel of experts on the ways that electoral decision-making systems can encourage some outcomes over others. They also […]

Our Common Purpose: Second Event Looks at Reforming Electoral Institutions

At any point in time we might look at our political institutions – Congress, the presidency, the courts, elections, etc. – and see them as static, impervious to change in the larger social or cultural environment. In fact, that perception is wrong. Our political institutions evolve just as the larger culture does. As the nation’s […]

Part 2 – Sarah Binder Weighs In: Institutional Hardball – in Congress and the White House – and the legislative road ahead

This is part two of  a guest post by Janna Deitz, Kluge Center Program Specialist in Outreach and Partnerships. Find the first post here. Sarah Binder is the most recent Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University, and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. […]

Law, Religion, and Liberty: A Conversation with John Witte, Jr.

Members of the Scholars Council are appointed by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to scholarship at the Library, with special attention to the Kluge Center and the Kluge Prize. The Council includes distinguished scholars, writers, researchers, and scientists. “Insights” is featuring some of the work of this highly-accomplished group of thinkers. […]

Michael Sandel at the Library of Congress

You’re sitting on a trolley car, careening down a train track. There are five men ahead working on the track and you will kill them all if you proceed. You can’t stop, but what you can do is veer off onto a separate track and kill only one man instead of five. Do you do […]