Our Endless March Toward Freedom and Justice for All

As an American I inherit the magnificent tradition of an endless march toward freedom and toward the dignity of all mankind. 

Dr. Pauli Murray, American Lawyer | Civil Rights Icon | Episcopal Priest

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights, voted on by Congress in New York City on September 25, 1789, defines certain limits on our government "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution."

The Bill of Rights gives the First Amendment pride of place, protecting some of the most sacrosanct American principles, including the rights to freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, association, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. These fundamental rights, some of which preserve their roots from the Magna Carta, are found at the beginning of the Bill of Rights, specifically because they have been seen as foundational to our shared identity as Americans.

We at the nation's Center for Civic Education believe that civic engagement is the cornerstone of democracy and paves the path toward justice. The Center for Civic Education's site contains a variety of educational materials that showcase how social justice movements have sparked change in the United States. We especially want to call attention to this living archive of multimedia resources, including video and audio that bring to life the tactics and triumphs of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.'s six principles of nonviolence, and the inspiring lives of activists from Dorothy Cotton to John Lewis.

The Center is dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and the practice of democracy in the United States and around the world. At the core of active engagement in the practice of democracy is the protection of all of the freedoms found within the First Amendment, where human rights are respected, where the dignity of the individual is protected, where the rule of law is observed, and where the common good is the concern of all citizens.

For our democracy to thrive, and for us to reach our highest ideals of a nation indivisible, we must all remain steadfast in our commitment to these inviolable principles. Our tradition of an endless march toward freedom and justice for all, and toward the dignity of all mankind, demands nothing less from each of us.


Christopher R. Riano
Executive Director
Center for Civic Education
www.civiced.org | learn.civiced.org


CCE LogoThis site is brought to you by the Center for Civic Education. The Center's mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965. Learn more.

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