Why America Needs Service, Now More Than Ever
COVID-19 and the fallout from the 2020 election have exposed the fragility of American democratic institutions and the importance of rebuilding the nation’s civic culture. What role should national service play in repairing American democracy and in helping the nation emerge from the pandemic? The Academy held a program featuring remarks by Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and author of Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World, and a panel discussion highlighting local, state, and national service programs. The conversation examined how service can bring Americans out of their political bubbles and mend some of the inequities exposed by COVID-19.
The program spotlighted the recommendation from the American Academy report, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, to create a universal expectation of national service. The 31 recommendations in Our Common Purpose were developed by a broad range of experts, including event panelist Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, who served on the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship.
The Academy is working with report champion Service Year Alliance to implement this recommendation.