Constitution Day commemorates the September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution. As we mark Constitution Day, the importance of the Constitution as a living document hold true today. With an election, a pandemic and a reckoning on the disparities against Black bodies, a conversation of how these all intersect is vital. Check out this week’s blog on the importance and context of voting in 2020.
Conversations for the Common Good on Constitution Day:
The Fight for the Right to Vote, Then and Now
Universities and colleges across the country celebrate the U.S. Constitution on September 17th, and hold space to reflect on that foundational document…”We the People”…
But what does that specifically mean when our democracy in 2020 is in the midst of a stress test as it grapples with multiple viruses? What does it mean when people–who were not landowning white males–were not originally baked into the Constitution and continue to fight for the right to vote, with populations strategically broadening whom the Constitution protects and gives rights.
Voter suppression continues to disempower millions of Americans, election after election. The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 190,000 Americans, disproportionately people of color. All this while we contend with our nation’s most lethal sicknesses: systemic racism, inequality, and state-sanctioned police brutality.
As if more than half a century ago had hardly passed, echoes of the 1960’s continue to resonate to this day and mirror each other in theme: police brutality, voting rights, and new legislation to ensure equal treatment. Young activists are taking to the streets to demand racial justice and fairness and holding elected officials accountable.
The Andrew Goodman Foundation exists to live the legacy of Andrew Goodman, a young white 20-year-old college student activist who lost his life confronting racism and defending the voting rights of his fellow Americans. He traveled to Mississippi with his two friends, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, and joined a coalition of one thousand volunteers—Black and white, young and old, Christian and Jewish. Fifty-six years ago, the Freedom Summer Project of 1964 was powered by one simple, but powerful idea that still resonates today, that Black Lives Matter.
Join us on Thursday, September 17th, 11:45a-1:00p PT for a conversation with David Goodman, Andrew Goodman’s brother and chair of the Foundation, alongside young leaders of our USFVotes team and Dr. Clarence Jones from the USF Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice.
We have a pivotal election coming up in November and we have an opportunity to live those words in action–We the People.
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