To say June was an intense month in the US would be an understatement. We encourage everyone to keep tuning in to the January 6th hearings, a testament to the rule of law and the importance of accountability that we cannot take for granted, as stated in this powerful op-ed by Pastor Evan Mawarire.
With the barrage of recent Supreme Court decisions sowing deeper divisions and disorientation, there are many resources such as those compiled by Citizen Connect to help us keep talking to each other and organizing for a just, inclusive, and plural democracy. Special thanks to The Fulcrum for highlighting the work of Horizons and for elevating the call for a mass pro-democracy movement. We agree!
Horizons’ Co-Leads published two articles marking our Independence Day describing the importance of individual and collective action to countering authoritarianism, and the healthy tensions between accountability and healing as a nation. Finally, Scot Nakagawa offered up sage advice on how to keep up our energies to stay in the fight. The Horizons Project hopes the following compilation of insights will also provide you with some inspiration and needed energy:
Beyond Conflict’s Renewing American Democracy: Navigating A Changing Nation is a treasure trove of information on the psychological drivers that are underlying our current social division and how they have been leveraged to erode democratic norms and processes. The authors include recommendations for how citizens and lawmakers can begin to counteract these forces.
The Frameworks Institute released a meaty report: How Is Culture Changing In This Time of Social Upheaval?, offering an in-depth look at mindset shifts taking place; the tacit assumptions that Americans are drawing on to think about social and political issues (for example individualistic vs systemic thinking.) Highlights from the report can be found here.
This article published by The Intercept, “Meltdowns Have Brought Progressive Advocacy Groups to a Standstill at a Critical Moment in World History“, also spurred a strong debate on Twitter about the systemic causes of the internal strife and challenges described in the article.
“America Is Growing Apart, Possibly for Good” is a sobering read in The Atlantic that includes a historical perspective from Michael Podhorzer, laying out a detailed case for thinking of the two blocs within the country as fundamentally different nations, uneasily sharing the same geographic space.
This edition of the Braver Angels video podcast includes John Woods Jr. interviewing Manu Meel from BridgeUSA on Gen Z and the “new center.” Manu shares some great wisdom on new theories of change coming from young people for making progress on our most pressing social challenges.
The Future Of, The Verge’s Netflix show about the future of everything is now streaming. Because our relationship to the future and our imagination skills are such an important aspect of successful organizing, this is a show intended to make people feel like an exciting and hopeful future is possible, “if we put our minds to it”.
Check out this series of five videos featuring panel discussions from the Global Democracy Champions Summit co-hosted by Keseb and the SNF Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University intended to spur dialogue and action to advance inclusive democracy in the US and globally.
The Good Faith Podcast discusses Replacing White Replacement Theory with special guest Chuck Mingo, pastor and founder of Living Undivided. He helps unpack the history behind the insidious “theory” and why he feels its scarcity mindset is in direct contradiction to the “abundance of God revealed in the Bible.” The podcast also explores the connection of current tragedies to broader understandings of immigration, as well as to the nation’s history of racially motivated violence like the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
This episode of the How Do We Fix It Podcast features Elizabeth Doty, Director of the Erb Institute’s Corporate Political Responsibility Taskforce at the University of Michigan, discussing constructive ways for businesses to help counter hyper-partisanship in society. We also highly recommend the Erb Institute’s overview of how the private sector can contribute to countering authoritarianism, a key institutional pillar needed to incentivize pro-democratic behavior.
Amanda Carpenter joins The Focus Group with Sarah Longwell Podcast to discuss the January 6th Committee hearings, how they matter for history, and whether they’re contributing to the “Trump voters’ blues.”
On The World Unpacked Podcast by The Carnegie Endowment of Peace, author Moisés Naím discusses his new book The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats are Reinventing Power in the 21st Century, covering the “three P’s” of authoritarian regimes: populism, polarization and post-truth.
Scholar-Activist Helen Neville shares all the resources accompanying a special Juneteenth edition of the Journal of Black Psychology focusing on the “Psychology of Black Activism in the 21st Century”, including a series of podcasts that explore the topics in each article.
Sara Grossman tweeted details about the launch of the new Democracy and Belonging Forum, an initiative from the Othering & Belonging Institute to share efforts between Europe and the US. (Horizons is pleased to support this effort, with Chief Network Weaver, Julia Roig, serving as an Advisor).
Tim Dixon breaks down new polling from More in Common to show that Americans are more concerned about threats from within the country than from abroad. And a related thread from Citizen Data describes their research on Americans’ views on electoral integrity and ways to combat election mistrust.
Professor Neil Lewis Jr. lays out the arguments in his recent article in FiveThirtyEight on various research that demonstrates what actually happens when we teach students critical lessons about American history.
James Savage from the Fund for Global Human Rights shares a thread on the amazing new resource, Narrative Spices: An Invitational Guide for Flavorful Human Rights, created together with JustLabs and based on the experiences of narrative change efforts in Mexico, Hungary, Venezuela, Australia, and Sri Lanka.
Arnaud Bertrand explains the ironic findings of the annual Global Democracy Perceptions Index in a twitter thread that highlights the challenges with defining what “democracy” is.
Nick Robinson, the head of US Programs at ICNL, put out a thread on the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent Bruen decision (gun control case) on assembly rights, democracy, and the insurrection.
“It’s a summer day. You have a long drive ahead of you. No work to do. Cold beverages in the car. Windows down. You have to put on an album that sounds exactly like summer to you and listen to the whole thing, no skips. What are you playing?” Rachel Syme, staff writer at The New Yorker, posed this question that generated hundreds of great summer listening recommendations. Enjoy!