Vermont Civics Collaborative
Vermont Humanities is taking part in the nationwide “Why it Matters: Civics and Electoral Participation” initiative sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation for State Humanities Councils.
After a year in which citizen engagement has never been more important, this national project will bring some of the best thinkers, activists, and organizers on these issues to forefront across the nation, and in Vermont.
Over the next six months, nine Vermont partners will organize events for “Why it Matters” under the banner of the Vermont Civics Collaborative.
Author Susan Clark, historian Paul M. Searls, podcaster Erica Heilman, and UVM professor Cheryl Morse reflect on what Vermont’s rural town meeting tradition can teach us about our nation’s democracy today.
The job of the Electoral College is to select the President and Vice President after the people of each state have voted. When the national vote and the electoral vote reach different conclusions, as happened in 2016, voters on the losing side cry foul. Why do we have an electoral college in the first place? In this first of three presentations on our constitutional democracy, Meg Mott considers the rationale behind this 18th century institution.
Tim Wise, a prominent anti-racist writer and educator gave this keynote presentation on January 17 for the Greater Burlington Multicultural Resource Center at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Burlington as part of a remembrance of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Conspiracy theory, once on the fringes of American democracy, is now at its the center. Russell Muirhead examines the nature of current conspiracy talk, and what it is doing to our democracy.
New York University Politics professor Melissa Schwartzberg discusses what it means to be an informed citizen in the context of the history of democracy, particularly in ancient Athens.
In an exclusive video tour, Vermont State Curator David Schutz explores the architectural symbolism of our beautifully-restored capitol building, and visits a rural town hall, another Vermont civic structure that enables us to govern ourselves.
The suffrage movement operated under two very different principles. Elizabeth Cady Stanton saw women’s suffrage as a right that had been unfairly denied to women, while Frederick Douglass saw women’s suffrage as a means to save the country’s soul.
The Collaborative will present a wide array of events and project from January through May on topics including:
- Campaign funding
- Direct Democracy
- Ideological polarization
- Protests and Civil Disobedience
- The Electoral College
- The rural/urban Divide
- Voter apathy
- Voting rights (including both enfranchisement and voter suppression)
- Women in politics
- Youth Engagement
Vermont Humanities is under grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or Vermont Humanities.