Vermont Civics Collaborative

Public humanities programs on civic and electoral participation

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. 

Recorded Events

Why Does the Electoral College Matter?

Why Does the Electoral College Matter?

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.

Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Ceremony 2021

Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Ceremony 2021

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 Talk and American Democracy Today

Conspiracy Talk and American Democracy Today

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.

The Informed Citizen, from Athens to Today

The Informed Citizen, from Athens to Today

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.

Women’s Suffrage: Moral Advancement or Politics as Usual?

Women’s Suffrage: Moral Advancement or Politics as Usual?

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

The Collaborative will also support the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s work on the Vermont Proposition, an initiative to develop a collaborative set of transformational goals for Vermont’s economy, environment, and communities and propose bold priorities for action.

This program is part of the “Why it Matters: Civics and Electoral Participation” initiative sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Federation for State Humanities Councils. ​

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.