From the website:
The idea for American Creed grew out of conversations between two Stanford University professors: political scientist and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and David M. Kennedy, who became a historian in large part to determine whether the United States has a “national character” — what defines it and how it changes over time.
For years, Drs. Rice and Kennedy have been deeply engaged in their own series of discussions about how to answer a number of urgent questions that are central to our success as a democracy:
- Who are the “we” in “We the People of the United States…”?
What does being a “citizen” mean? What does productive, imaginative and engaged citizenship look like at this time in our history?
How do economic booms and busts shape ideals and disconnect from ideals?
What happens to the idea of a shared American creed when social mobility declines along with trust in American institutions?
Where are we headed as citizens, and as a nation?
These questions embrace several major issues at the forefront of American political debate: how to provide access to education and economic opportunity; how to unify the diverse cultural populations in America; and, most importantly, how to define America’s national identity. Our film takes stock of the health of what Condoleezza Rice calls “America’s aspirational narrative — the striving to do and be better that has always drawn people to this country;" what David M. Kennedy calls “the pull of America.”
We hope that the stories in American Creed — which speak to our dilemmas, yet offer hope that our shared ideals can prove more powerful than our differences — will engage viewers in a bold conversation about what it will take to uphold American democracy.
American Creed: Community Conversations is a project of Citizen Film in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Writing Project, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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