The events of January 6 at the United States Capitol were unprecedented; as prior visitors to that building, we were deeply saddened by what transpired. As we navigate extraordinary times of political divide and civic unrest, opportunities to engage in informed dialogue to widen perspectives are more crucial than ever to help strengthen democracy within our state. As we work to harness the power of the public humanities in New Jersey, we look to the founding legislation of the National Endowment for the Humanities as our touchstone.
“Democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens. It must therefore foster and support a form of education, and access to the arts and the humanities, designed to make people of all backgrounds and wherever located masters of their technology and not its unthinking servants.”
We are comforted by the foresight of that legislation.
When the congressional delegates returned to the floor to resume the public debate only hours after being forced to evacuate, we heard inspiring messages of unity, not divisiveness. For nearly 50 years, the work of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities has been to support the cultural organizations that provide New Jerseyans opportunities to explore through the sharing of ideas, perspectives, and experiences the challenges that affect us all. In this time of turmoil, we are steadfast in doing all we can to support our fellow New Jerseyans in their pursuit of wisdom and vision.