Posted by Ada Renee Williams on November 18, 2019

"Democracy is more than a system of government; it is a way of life. We can assess the vitality of a democracy by how well it is serving the people's needs and hopes."

These opening lines from the Practicing Democracy Blog speak to a way of being which — more often than not — seems to allude some people's grasp. What does "practicing democracy" mean when the very systems one is to consider disregards your humanness and have done so since the inception of this nation?

This question was nudging me . . .

Posted by Aizaiah Yong on November 11, 2019

I first came across Zion Real Estate when I was living in the Seattle area and was looking for reputable agents who would have the community’s best interests in mind. When I met the founder, Derek Catherall, I was highly impressed that he had included community building in his business model. The first words out of his mouth were "people before profits."

Catherall explained to me . . .

Posted by Sheryl Johnson on November 4, 2019

The experience of being “unsettled” as a “settler” will stay with me for a long time. During the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015 I participated in the KAIROS Blanket Exercise in Ottawa, Ontario. This is a participatory teaching tool that tells the history and ongoing realities of colonization in Canada. Blankets are spread on the ground and are then folded up and removed as the history is told, enacting the ways that Indigenous access to the land has been restricted by European settlers. Participant-actors, playing the roles of Indigenous peoples, move and are removed from the blankets as historical and ongoing realities are described. These realities include the deaths of Indigenous peoples due to introduced diseases, the genocide caused by Residential Schools, the removal from traditional lands and forced relocation to reserves, and the removal and adoption of Indigenous children by child welfare agencies.

Participating in this exercise on Parliament Hill, . . .

Posted by Aizaiah Yong on October 28, 2019

FLDWRK, located in Orange County, California, is an organization that focuses on ways that entrepreneurs, artists, and social activists can cooperate and become “culture creators.” The members share a dream that "one day, all cities will be full of organizations that are culture-creating forces for the good of humanity." I learned about them from a longtime friend, Jonathon Murillo, whom I've admired for always thinking outside the box. I decided to explore how FLDWRK is helping to strengthen our democracy.

FLDWRK aims to overcome the isolation that is birthed in an overemphasis on individualism . . .

Posted by Sheryl Johnson on October 21, 2019

I have the great privilege of working with a group of kids at the church where I serve. The group is diverse: Every week we have kids of different ages, races, genders, and economic class backgrounds. We have kids who attend regularly, kids who are coming for the first time, and kids who normally attend other churches or faith communities but are visiting the area. In many ways, it is a microcosm of the wider society.

I have appreciated the challenge ...

Posted by Mary Ann Brussat on October 15, 2019

You have probably noticed when attending a spiritual workshop that the leader often starts with an exercise encouraging you to do some kind of self-assessment. This helps you focus on your intention in attending the session, and the sharing of comments afterwards helps the leader determine how best to proceed with a particular group.

When I have led gatherings ...

Posted by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat on October 14, 2019

Democracy is more than a system of government; it is a way of life. We can assess the vitality of a democracy by how well it is serving the people's needs and hopes. But a democracy's health is best reflected in examples of how people practice it through their commitments to shared values and virtues. In this blog, we will present stories of democracy-in-practice.

What projects have people undertaken to uphold the common good and work for equality and justice for all? How are people reaching across divides and creating community? How is respect demonstrated by children in Sunday School or athletes on a team? If asked to define what their country means to them, what do people say?

We've been talking to people about the resources created for the Practicing Democracy Project to see what they have found helpful and how they have applied them. We'll use this blog to share examples of their experiences.

We will also continue to pay attention to teaching stories, speeches, overheard comments, TV shows, movies, news reports, and more to find expressions of democratic commitments and activities. We'll ask friends and spiritual teachers to contribute their own examples.

And we invite you to send in your own stories of how you practice democracy. Email us with what you'd like to share, and one of us on the Practicing Democracy Project team will get back to you if we choose your submission for a blog post. When you do, please put "Practicing Democracy Blog" in the subject line so that your email will stand out from others we receive.

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About This Blog

Democracy is more than a system of government; it is a way of life. We can assess the vitality of a democracy by how well it is serving the people's needs and hopes. But a democracy's health is best reflected in examples of how people practice it through their commitments to shared values and virtues. In this blog, we will present stories of democracy-in-practice. More.