Programs

— Civics and Democracy —

— Civics and Democracy —

Promoting Civics and Democracy

The power to think creatively and critically is in every single one of us. It is not something that only a few people possess. We have the potential to think, to act, and to do so in a way that helps our communities be vibrant. Helping us see this democratic power is one of the roles of the humanities.

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"This new volume was partially funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the "Democracy and the Informed Citizen" initiative to which every state council could apply for funds to support projects that examine the connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. As part of our project in Wyoming, we explored the issue of civility in journalism and social media and how it is eroding the public trust in the institutions of democracy."

Click here to get the Democracy Under Construction book club kit.

Democracy Under Construction

The Federation of State Humanities Councils, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has awarded $34,793 to Wyoming Humanities to help Wyomingites better understand the history and current issues impacting democracy in the U.S., with emphasis on how journalism shapes our nation’s democratic state. This is the second WYH project funded under the FSHC’s Democracy and the Informed Citizen initiative.

This initiative asks Wyomingites to explore democracy as it was originally shaped by our founders and journalism’s role in promoting and protecting democracy. We will explore partisanship and whether a lack of civility is impacting Americans’ ability to think critically about social and political issues and how it might be impacting our perception of the news. This initiative feature a new publication by Wyoming Humanities, Democracy Under Construction, a reader that will explore issues that have influenced democracy in our nation and state. Other parts of the project will help Wyomingites better understand how journalism affects democracy and provide guidance on how to consume news critically in this era.

Democracy Under Construction is also available as book-club kit for organizations, reading groups, libraries and others. For details, contact Lucas Fralick at lucas@thinkwy.org.

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United We Stand: Discuss & Construct

In 2023, the National Endowment for the Humanities launched United We Stand: Connecting through Culture, a new initiative to combat hate-based violence through cultural engagement.

United We Stand recognizes that the humanities bring people from a variety of backgrounds together, create opportunities for the public to engage with important humanities ideas, and develop connectivity.

Discuss & Construct is based on the idea that – through civic and civil conversation – communities can better come together to solve problems and accomplish goals of making Wyoming’s communities welcoming and accepting.

Discuss & Construct features two parts:

(1) facilitated discussions on topics addressing empathy, belonging, hate, and understanding.

(2) community-based projects inspired by these discussions.

Throughout 2024, Wyoming Humanities will share the stories of these conversations and projects – and what they mean to the communities in which they take place.

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Columns on Democracy & the Constitution: David Adler

One of Wyoming Humanities’ missions is to strengthen Wyoming’s democracy through the humanities as part of a multi-pronged initiative, “Why It Matters. Since 2021, Wyoming Humanities has partnered with Dr. Adler to provide a weekly column exploring the fascinating nuances and discussion points of the United States Constitution, as well as the Supreme Court itself.

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David Adler