In spring 2022, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities collected hundreds of responses from individuals throughout the state as part of our Democracy Conversation Project. Via both an online form and “ballot boxes” located at partner sites throughout the state, New Jerseyans provided their thoughts in response to four questions about our democracy:
- What are the main challenges facing democracy today?
- What do you remember about the first time you voted?
- What does it mean to be a good citizen?
- Why is voting important to you?
Responses were accepted in written, audio, video, and visual formats. They were compiled and displayed in interactive format on the Community Conversations page, where users can filter the responses by age of the respondent (when provided) as well as keyword tag, question prompt, and response type.
To further explore the themes found in the responses, summer 2023, NJCH announced the commissions of two projects aiming to explore, analyze, and visualize the responses in new and interactive ways.
The video below was created by filmmaker April Merl, a resident of South Orange, to explore trends and themes in the responses to the question “What does it mean to be a good citizen.” Check it out below: