Co-sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers.
In a letter to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. … They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Today, 230 years after Jefferson composed these words, the United States finds itself in a crisis of democracy, in which the future of our liberties and our republican form of government hang in the balance. Almost daily, we see attacks against the rights of citizenship, especially on the right to vote, and against the rule of law, an independent judiciary and a free press. Demagogic attacks are regularly launched against “other” Americans—immigrants and refugees, people of color, Muslims and Jews, and LGBTQ people.