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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

“Aware of issues that impact their community”

Anonymous
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Respect each other”

Anonymous
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Respects the rights and well-being of others”

Anonymous
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Listen to other points of view”

Sam
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Respect and appreciate diversity”

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

“Love each other in spite or even because of the differences”

Lena , 24
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Be responsible for your own actions”

Bryan , 37
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Respect your country”

Linda , 71
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?

“Lack of respect of democracy”

Tess , 40
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“Have respect for the law”

Anonymous , 72
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Giving equal preference to hear what others say”

Sarah , 42
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Be respectful”

Emily , 10
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“make democracy happy”

Idannis
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“The laws of our society”

Jordan , 35
What are the main challenges facing democracy today?

“To respect others”

Miles , 8
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Treat others the way they want to be treated”

Lloyd , 72
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“Following the laws”

Saoirse , 18
What does it mean to be a good citizen?

“respect for others”

Anonymous , 95
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.