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Re:Building Democracy

Part two of Re:Building Democracy, how public health and public schools in the Spokane area have communicated their coronavirus approaches to the public.
Part three of Re:Building Democracy, a look at civics education in Washington.

Democracy works best when the people being governed are engaged in civic life. That certainly was the case in 2020, a year with a lot of elements that sparked people’s passions. Start with a presidential race featuring an incumbent who inspired strong emotions in both supporters and detractors. Add to that an already evenly-divided nation in terms of political viewpoints and a pandemic that brought huge changes to our everyday lives. With technology, people now have all kinds of avenues where they can publicly express their feelings. Sometimes they do it constructively, sometimes they inflame.

How do we keep civil discourse and facts front and center, while minimizing division and misinformation?  What have we learned about how we communicate when passions are running high and people can instantaneously express their opinions? 

Places you can find more information about civics and civics education:

The National Constitution Center
Washington Legislature's Civics Education program

The Washington legislature's Civic Education Day

Washington's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction's Civics Education page

League of Women Voters for Washington

(Re)Building Democracy, Humanities

Dr. Cary Boyce (Doctor of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music) has been the President and General Manager of Spokane Public Radio since 2012. Before coming to SPR, he was Station Operations Director at WFIU Public Radio licensed to Indiana University. Cary is also an Emmy Award-winning composer (Harp Dreams, PBS special, 2011) whose work involves contemporary music, interdisciplinary arts, and how music relates to our modern world.