What Makes Democracy Work?

History teaches us that democracies are fragile. But what makes democracy work? Join us to learn, discuss and teach about the importance of #DemocracyAndUs.


What does it take to sustain democracy? In today’s world, political and social tensions, eroding trust in institutions, and rising incidents of hatred and bigotry make this question more essential than ever.

Visit this page weekly for new interviews with scholars and thought leaders, essays and stories from history and literature to enliven your lesson plans, and teaching resources to engage your students. And join us on social media with #DemocracyAndUs to add your voice to this urgent civic conversation.

As the school year comes to a close, join us at our upcoming free webinar: Igniting Civil Discourse in Our Students This Summer on June 7.

Help your students explore citizenship, power, and responsibility with a podcast and video featuring civic entrepreneur Eric Liu.

Explore the essential questions behind our #DemocracyAndUs campaign.

What Makes Democracy Work | Week of May 16, 2017

More Resources From Our Ongoing Campaign

Help students create working definitions of democracy and consider the relationship between democracy and community.

Use this lesson to help students navigate religious and political differences in a democracy by exploring poetry and listening to a podcast.

Walk through a ten-question framework with your students as you analyze stories of civic participation together.

​​​​​​​Blog Posts, Podcasts & Other Teaching Tools:

 Readings on Democracy:

  •  Invoking History in Today's Politics
    This article emphasizes the importance of using historical perspective to ask probing questions about democracy and decision-making.

  •  We the People in the United States
    Learn how the US Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law has been questioned throughout US history in debates over issues such as women's right to vote and birthright citizenship.

Reminder: Visit this page every Thursday in April and May 2017 for new content!

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.