Our Common Purpose

Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century

Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, a report recently released by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship, presents a sweeping and comprehensive proposal to strengthen American constitutional democracy. As communities around the nation search for ways to make our nation’s democracy more resilient, Little Rock will serve as the nation’s pilot city for efforts to advance the report’s recommendations. The CALS four-part series marks the start of Little Rock’s Our Common Purpose programming and the beginning of the city’s commitment to serving as a model for the nation in building a better political future.

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Introducing Our Common Purpose

Arkansas’s capital city will be the nation’s municipal “champion” as part of a nationwide effort – led by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences – to increase civic learning and engagement across America. The Academy launched a bipartisan Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship to study political and civic life around the country.

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Understanding Your Community’s Civic Health and What to Do About It

The second event in the series focuses on understanding a community’s civic health and the elements that contribute to a strong civic culture. What does the term “civic health” mean? What role can civic infrastructure play in bridging community divides and fostering engagement? What does civic engagement have to do with American democracy? How can Little Rock residents understand civic health of our own community and what can we do to make it stronger?

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Imagining Civic Media

The third event in the series examines how changes in the information environment impact citizen engagement. What can be done to address the prevalence of mis/disinformation? What would media designed to serve community needs and strengthen civic culture look like? Panelists will include members of the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship and leaders from around the nation who are finding innovative ways to rethink how social and digital media can serve the public good.

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You Choose!

The topics and panelists for this final briefing will be determined by the public through an online survey! Options include Empowering Voters, Building Trust in Local Government, Understanding Reapportionment and Redistricting, Civic Culture, and Telling Your Region’s Story. Stay tuned for your opportunity to weigh in on this final briefing in the series.

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