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Democracy is a conversation, not a monologue.
In January of most years, the president delivers a State of the Union Address highlighting the past year and suggesting priorities for the coming year. It’s a broadcast from one to many. But democracy is a conversation, not a monologue. Understanding the state of our union takes "We the People" reflecting in our own communities on our challenges and opportunities locally, nationally and globally.
Since 2015, the USDAC has hosted the People’s State of the Union as an invitation to supplement the president’s stories by coming together in our own homes, schools, houses of worship and community organizations to share our own take on the state of our union. Thousands of people in more than 350 communities have taken part over the last three years.
In polarized times, being able to cross cultural and political divides and remain in dialogue is a worthy challenge. Who are we? What touches our hearts and minds? What do our communities need, and what do they need to hear from us? We may know our own answers, but do we know each other?
A story circle is a simple, powerful way of bringing people together and reinforcing the deeply democratic idea that everyone’s story counts, overcoming the ignorance and fear that divide us. #PSOTU2018 is just what we need right now: an antidote to soundbites, screens and fake news. Together, we’ll build a composite picture of the state of our union, celebrating what connects us and bringing our creativity to healing all that pulls us apart.
For #PSOTU 2018, story circle participants are invited to share their own take on the state of our union by reflecting on any of the following prompts or creating their own:
• Share a story about an experience that gave you insight into the state of our union
• Share a story about a time you felt a sense of belonging — or the opposite — to this nation or your community
• Share a story of an experience that gave you hope in the past year.
This year, story circles will take place from Jan. 25 to Feb. 4, 2018.
Come and share your vision. The event is free, but space is limited. The People’s State of the Union is conceived and coordinated by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, an act of collective imagination (not a government agency).
This event is co-sponsored by Storyscope