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Searching for Democracy: How Do We Participate?

How do we forge a common good in a state of uncommon diversity of opinion, values, and cultures?

How do we forge a common good in a state of uncommon diversity of opinion, values, and cultures? How do we participate in democracy in order to forge that common good?

These are the questions examined in this short piece, answered by participants of the forum held on March 4, 2011, which launched our Searching For Democracy initiative. Held at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in downtown Los Angeles and adjacent Japanese American National Museum, we convened scholars, public intellectuals, policy specialists, journalists, and authors for this day-long conversation on the evolution of civic conversation and the changing nature of democracy over time.

Searching for Democracy was a statewide initiative designed to animate public conversation on the very nature of democracy through a wide range of public programs leading into the 2012 elections and beyond. With partners from across the state in communities large and small, we provided Californians with many different ways to explore how the humanities provide insights and opportunities to have conversations that matter about the needs and state of our democracy.

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