Quiet as it’s kept, the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States is available as a foundation for a national conversation in which all points of view have access to a common, absolutely American, starting document, the Preamble. 

At “We The People” events, large and small, public and private, those who attend can begin by reflecting together, in a unified voice, on the Preamble while saying it.

In a workshop format the goal would be to gather in small groups, not more than twelve to a group, in which each group member would state:

  • What the Preamble means to them;
  • What they think the Preamble meant when it was presented for ratification in 1787.

Participants can be encouraged to research documents that support their point of view.  Sponsors of the workshops can make available a set of documents. For example, a document of Patrick Henry’s response to “We The People” as contrasted with his preference:  “We The Citizens of the Several States.”

While I have in mind a set of documents that organizers of “We The People” workshops might consider, I would rather engage with particular organizers to discuss together what documents they would like to make available for “We The People” workshops that they organize.

The SNCC Legacy Project might agree to support the concept of organizing “We The People” workshops and organizations or institutions like “Teaching for Change,” “Rethinking Schools” and the “Zinn Education Project” might agree to incubate initial “We The People” workshops and begin to develop protocols for the workshops.

I suggest the SNCC Legacy Project as a sponsor to initiate conversations about this concept because an important dimension of the SNCC legacy, “Freedom Summer” and the Mississippi Theater of the Civil Rights movement, remains, in some important sense, a “We The People” manifestation of efforts to expand the reach of the Preamble’s “We”, one of the few such grassroots efforts in the past half-century.

Bob Moses, Cambridge, MA – Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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