Growing Voters – All In: The Fight for Democracy
“The fundamental power of democracy lies in the right to vote, and if you protect that right, you create possibilities for everything else.”
– Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy
If you haven’t watched the documentary All In: The Fight for Democracy, there is no better time than now to learn why free and fair elections continue to be contentious, and why the right (not privilege) to vote is the cornerstone of US democracy.
All In examines the often overlooked, yet insidious issue of voter suppression in the United States. The film takes us on a journey of connecting the past to our present, interweaving personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning.
In partnership with Amazon Studios, Raben Group, Picture Motion, DoGoodery, and NAMLE we developed a Community Discussion Guide and the Grow A Voter Curriculum for 6-12 classrooms. The three units of learning – US History, Civics, and Media Literacy – are available in English and Spanish, include short clips from the film and standards-aligned lessons, and are adaptable for online and in-person learning.
Go to http://primevideoedu.dothegoodery.com/ and to access the materials for free.
The Grow a Voter campaign also allowed us to work with the talented educator Julia E. Torres and 18 Teacher Ambassadors from around the country. From elementary up through high school, these Ambassadors participated in a series of webinars, broad-based dialogues on strategies to teach and talk about the right to vote, and learned from Dr. Carol Anderson, one of the film’s lead historians, on the necessity of Civics education and the importance of understanding the history of voter suppression in the US.
“What we know is that voting becomes a habit. You start voting, you keep voting. When you create that habit early, it becomes part of the way that people see themselves, and the way they engage with this democracy.”
It’s been a sincere pleasure to contribute to a movement towards teaching a more complete and inclusive history. We look forward to continuing this work so that civic engagement becomes interwoven into our classrooms as a matter of course. As the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis said, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.”