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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

“Inequity in education”

Anonymous
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“Treat all ethnicities with justice and equity and without prejudice”

Anonymous
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?

“Advocating for less fortunate members of your society”

Trenton citizens
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Making sure all have a place at the table”

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

“Everyone’s opinion counts”

Rulli , 10
Why is voting important to you?

“Everyone should be treated equally”

Anonymous
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Being a part of an equitable and fair society”

Ekta , 45
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“One nation with equal rights”

Anonymous
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“Support your neighbors”

Anonymous , 28
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“committed to public service”

Ariel , 38
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“A bright future require us to nurture the hope that such a future is possible”

Tyler , 34
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

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.