We Are Facing History: Civics & 21st Century Democracy | Facing History & Ourselves
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Community Event

We Are Facing History: Civics & 21st Century Democracy

Dr. Danielle Allen and Dr. Peter Levine discuss the necessity of fostering active civic participation and ways we can work across differences and break down polarization to build a stronger democracy.



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Watch a conversation about the state of our democracy and civic education with Dr. Danielle Allen and Dr. Peter Levine. Both Dr. Allen and Dr. Levine are scholars, public policy experts, and national voices on the importance of civic engagement. Together, they explore the necessity of fostering active civic participation and ways we can work across differences and break down polarization to build a stronger democracy.

This is the first event in the 2022-2023 We Are Facing History Community Conversation series.


Dr. Danielle Allen is a seasoned leader, public policy and public affairs expert, national voice on pandemic response, and distinguished academic and author. As James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard and the Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Danielle advises on the translation of research into practice across the domains of genetic science, public health, education, and economic development. 

Her latest book, Democracy in the Time of Coronavirus, “a trenchant call for reimagining how America functions in a time of crisis” (Publishers Weekly), offers a plan for creating a more resilient democratic polity—one that can better respond to both the present pandemic and future crises.

Her forthcoming Justice by Means of Democracy focuses on how we can bridge our current impasses–from inequality and disempowerment to polarization and disinformation– highlighting 21st century practices for a stronger democracy.

Dr. Allen’s other works include Cuz: An American Tragedy (2008), Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2015), and Education and Equality (2018).

If you’d like to hear more from Dr. Allen, her books are available for purchase here.



Peter Levine is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life. Trained as a moral/political philosopher, Levine has spent most of his career conducting applied empirical research and organizing professional efforts related to civic life in the United States, including sustained work on civic education, voting rights, public deliberation, and social movements.

In the domain of civic education, Levine was a co-organizer and co-author of The Civic Mission of Schools (2003), The College, Career & Citizenship Framework for State Social Studies Standards (2013) and The Educating for American Democracy Roadmap (2021). The first two are the sources of the “six promising practices” and the notion of “taking informed action” that are widely found in state and local policies and curricula. The last was released in 2021 and is receiving prominent attention.

Levine is the author of eight books, including most recently We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, 2013) and What Should We Do? A Theory of Civic Life (Oxford University Press, 2022).

We are grateful to The Hammer Family for supporting the development of our on-demand learning and teaching resources.