William & Mary will lead essential efforts to practice and promote democratic ideals in the pursuit of a more perfect union.
At a time when our country is deeply divided, we have the opportunity to rediscover the ideals that make pluralistic democracies strong. W&M has played a pivotal role in shaping democracy since the founding of the United States. As we prepare for our country’s 250th anniversary, W&M will ensure that our nation’s origin stories are expansive, honest and that they unite us in a commitment to knowledge as a public good. By studying, teaching and illuminating the rights and obligations of 21st-century citizenship, the Alma Mater of the Nation is uniquely positioned to ensure that democratic ideals thrive for generations to come.
- Elevate W&M’s voice in local, national and global conversations to uphold the democratic ideals and institutions in the 21st century.
- Generate and disseminate research that fosters reconciliation, produces inclusive histories and models ways to engage local communities in this endeavor.
- Strengthen W&M academic offerings through better integration of civics education, American history and worldwide democracy in the student experience, thereby attracting new and more diverse cohorts of students.
- Partner with Indigenous and Black descendent communities, and the entire W&M community, to create a model for a more inclusive and just society.
- Connect expertise and academic initiatives across W&M that enhance the study of democracy and the practice of civil discourse.
- Convene leading democratic thinkers, activists and practitioners — both physically and virtually — to engage the university and broader community in exploring relevant issues.
- Cultivate local relationships and partnerships to develop deep human connections that engender genuine, robust dialogue and respectful debate.
- Collaborate with community leaders to position the city of Williamsburg and the region as a hub for commemoration and generation of inclusive democracy leading up to and following the 250th anniversary of 1776.
- Invest in research conducted by the Lemon Project, Williamsburg Bray School Project, Brafferton Legacy, Highland, Omohundro Institute and others, to expand our nation’s origin story in an inclusive way.
- Partner with the Aspen Institute’s Better Arguments Project to become a higher education model for advancing democracy and practicing civil discourse.
- Integrate training in civil discourse into the Student Affairs STEP program.
- Create new curricular and programmatic opportunities to immerse students, alumni and the public in the history and practice of democracies around the world.
- Capitalize on the W&M Washington Center’s location and connections to generate new opportunities for students, faculty and alumni related to policy, social justice and law-making in our nation’s capital.
- Expand the successful National Institute of American History and Democracy (NIAHD) to engage larger and more diverse cohorts of learners.
- Showcase Williamsburg’s and the commonwealth’s centrality in the national conversation on democracy via a series of conferences in partnership with the Omohundro Institute and Colonial Williamsburg.
- Building on the work of the Presidential Council for Community Partnerships, expand community-engaged research and opportunities for dialogue with local leaders and organizations in the region.