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JANINE THE SCHOLAR

GEORGE WASHINGTON.jpeg

THE FOUNDING OF CONSTITUTING AMERICA

I believe life is about love and service. In 2010, I felt a call to honor President John F. Kennedy’s words, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I decided to launch a foundation to serve my country with a non-partisan mission. Unity. Unity based around another quote of John F. Kennedy, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall but an idea lives on.”

An idea...an idea that became the conscience of America.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence became the conscience not just for America but for civilization.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” is the phrase most immortalized by Americans, however, the following line in the Declaration is just as fundamental:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

This idea led to the creation of a government governed by the people through the rules of the United States Constitution—in order to, “secure these rights.” This new government received their powers from the “consent of the governed” —“We the People.” My goal has been to imbue in every child and every adult the recognization, and thus the subsequent inspiration, that “We” means “them.”

“We the People,” means—you.

The Declaration is the idea, the conscience, the Constitution is the protector of that idea, that conscience. It is a one-two step. These ideals are for all Americans and we have a Republic, as long as we can keep it, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin.

Thus, I launched Constituting America in 2010 to use the arts, among other avenues, to spread the word about why these documents matter, and how we can utilize their principles to prevail and progress, protect and provide: “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Constituting America has been in existence for over thirteen years. I have given over 500 speeches to adults, and students, primarily students, emphasizing that the founding documents are not political party documents. Through Socratic discussions and exercises, like writing a petition, the students learn how the principles within these documents are applicable to their own lives, thus encouraging civic duty by the maxim: It is “We the People,” not “We the government.” Finally, by highlighting the vital aspects of the Constitution’s checks and balances, students learn how these checks were put in place to prevent tyranny thus protecting the idea, and the conscience, of America.

Constituting America has created other multi-tiered approaches to cultivate civic knowledge such as: annual ninety day scholastic studies, contests, clips for classrooms, podcasts, social media and film production.

Preserving the idea, cultivating the conscience, protecting against tyranny, constituting America. We the people. A Republic, if we can keep it. I am a non-partisan servant for this cause.

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