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New Jerseyans share their stories and ideas about our democracy.

New Jersey's Democracy Conversation

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 this page, below. Responses can be filtered by age of the respondent (when provided), as well as keyword tag, question prompt, and response type.

Visualizing Democracy Commissions

In summer 2023, NJCH announced the commissions of two projects aiming to explore, analyze, and visualize the responses in new and interactive ways. Commissions were awarded in response to a call for proposals.

What does it mean to be a good citizen?

The first project, above, is a brief animated video exploring the themes found in responses to the question "What does it mean to be a good citizen?" The video was created by filmmaker April Merl of South Orange.

The Misinformation Newspaper

Misinformation Newspaper

The second project, above, is a digital newspaper expounding on DCP responses related to misinformation as a challenge to democracy. It was created by artist and educator Melody Marshall of Woodbury.

All Responses

Filters

“It’s our right – appreciate it!”

Anonymous
Why is voting important to you?

“Holding elected officials accountable”

Sharonda
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Greed, deception, and lies”

Princess
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“Decisions are not made that benefit all people”

Ave
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“Election lies”

Trenton citizens
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“Making sure all have a place at the table”

Michael , 46
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Do as you told your 5 year old”

Anonymous
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Pays attention and participates”

Anonymous
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Holding people accountable”

Sharika , 17
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

At NJCH, we believe that everyone should have access to humanities programming. Based on your organization and desired topics/formats, we offer programs—often subsidized by our federal and corporate funding—so that you can bring high quality humanities programs to your audiences.