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Four Freedoms: the Spirit of Democracy Today and Tomorrow

Join us to explore what freedom means to us today and into the future.            

About this event                                    

Freedom lies at the heart of democracy, but what does it mean? Please join us for this four-event discussion series, where we’ll help each other explore what freedom means to us today–and into the future. To start our discussions in each session, we’ll view one of Norman Rockwell’s iconic “Four Freedoms” paintings coupled with a modern interpretation by visual artist Maggie Meiners.* 

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Freedom lies at the heart of democracy. But what does “freedom” mean to us–and what can it mean?

Let’s look at art to expand our exploration

Some ideas of freedom are spelled out at the time of our nation’s founding, as embodied in the US Constitution. They were expanded at the time of our nation’s “second founding,” after the Civil War, with the proposal that those freedoms should extend to all citizens. In 1941, President Franklin D Roosevelt likewise famously proposed the expanded recognition of “four freedoms” as human rights that apply worldwide: the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear. At the time, those four freedoms were given a visual interpretation by the painter Norman Rockwell. But how might those freedoms look today? The contemporary artist Maggie Meiners has offered updated versions of Rockwell’s images. In this discussion series, we’ll use these images from both artists to spark our collaborative exploration of what freedom might mean to us today and for the future.   

Four connected but independent conversation events

April 27, 1pm EDT: Freedom of Speech. What does it mean, and what could it mean? What concerns do you have as you look to the future? 

May 11, 1pm EDT: Freedom of Worship. What might this freedom mean to you? How does it relate to other democratic values?

May 25, 1pm EDT: Freedom from Want. What are different possible aspects of this freedom? How might it be realized?

June 8, 1pm EDT: Freedom from Fear. What could this freedom mean? What other essential freedoms have we not yet imagined or explored?

The Interactivity Foundation is dedicated to fostering generous and highly participatory conversations where we can help each other consider diverse perspectives, think broadly and deeply about issues, and imagine alternative possibilities for the future.  

This series is a partnership with AroundTownDC, the Guy Mason Community Center, and the Diversity Relations Council at Leisure World in Maryland.

The first session of this series on April 27 is part of the National Week of Conversation. To kick off that week, you can also sign up for America Talks on April 21 or 23, which matches up people of different backgrounds and beliefs from all corners of the country for face-to-face online conversations.         


* Images by Maggie Meiners are subject to copyright and used with the artist’s permission.  All rights reserved.

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