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Flexing Our Citizen Muscles

Energy

Annie Leonard

I'm at the White House in Washington, D.C. today, at a forum on social innovation, talking about the importance of flexing our citizen muscles.

As you know, I've been talking a lot about the power of citizens to make change in the run up to the release of our new movie—The Story of Change—on July 17.

But it's a particular honor to present these ideas—and a clip of our movie—at the White House this week, because tomorrow is July 4, the day we in the U.S. celebrate our independence.

Truth be told, I love July 4—yes, for the barbecues and fireworks, but mainly for the celebration of freedom and call to engaged citizenship that is integral to the day.

Today, in honor of that call, we're releasing a new podcast featuring interviews with a group of leading change-makers—from Van Jones to Charlotte Brody to Ralph Nader—talking about what it means to be a citizen.

As Eric Liu, who co-authored The Gardens of Democracy with Nick Hanauer, put it to me: "The purpose of citizenship is to force this country to live up, a little bit more than it did yesterday, to its stated creed of liberty and equality for all."

So if you're celebrating tomorrow, enjoy the picnics and fireworks.

But while we're gathered, let's also commit to strengthening our citizen muscles and working together to make some serious change in the year ahead.

You can watch the live stream of the White House forum I'm participating in starting at 1 p.m. Eastern today. My panel is scheduled to start at 2:45 p.m. Eastern time.

 

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