Push yourself! Take the WRI Democracy Reading Challenge.

Posted on July 6, 2024

“Every citizen has the duty to be informed, to be thoughtfully concerned, and to participate in the search for solutions.”  

Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller

The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute has just announced its first annual Civic Arkansas Democracy Reading Challenge.

The challenge is just to read two books from this list of ten nonpartisan books selected by some prominent Arkansans specifically for their focus on expanding our knowledge of American democracy and avenues for civic engagement.

All the books will soon be available to check out in our system (some already are). You can sign up for the challenge officially at the link above.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Thomas Jefferson

None of these look to be light reads and we know it is summer. But we are sharing this opportunity as we also know how important it is for all of us to always be thinking about how we build community and work together to solve the most pressing problems affecting our collective health, wealth, and happiness. That is the American way…and has been all the way back to our founding fathers!

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

N.H. Kleinbaum, “Dead Poets Society

  • Did you know that Arkansas has the lowest voter registration and voter turnout rates in national elections of any U.S. state, and voter turnout has declined in the past two generations?
  • Did you know that volunteerism is on the decline nationally? (Anecdotally, we are seeing this locally as well with some of our local organizations desperate for volunteers!)
  • Did you know that Arkansas is one of the friendliest states, ranking 9th nationally, with 82.6% of Arkansans frequently hearing from or spending time with family and friends and nearly one out of ten (9.7%) Arkansans frequently doing favors for their neighbors? (Check out the 2023 Arkansas Civic Health Index for more research into the current state of civic engagement in Arkansas.)

All this shows that we all have a role to play in making our community the best place possible for ourselves, our families, and everyone. Participating in this challenge may help you find a new way you want to get involved and make a difference.

Carpe diem!