It’s no secret that public education in the United States is in crisis. Gallup has been tracking Americans’ confidence in the public school system for four decades now. Last year, 28 percent of Americans claimed to have little or no confidence in public schools. By contrast, that number was 11 percent in 1973.
Many parents worry that their children are not being taught the values that make the United States great — free speech, the rule of the law, an open marketplace, and democratic government, among others. Respect for these institutions is the exception, not the norm, of world history. Even today, less than 20 percent of the world lives in a free country according to Freedom House, the smallest portion since 1995.
The importance of liberty cannot be taken for granted. It must be taught to every new generation.That’s why Young Voices is launching The Dissident Project, a speakers bureau for high school and college audiences to hear first-hand testimonials from young people who escaped authoritarianism.
Young Voices has assembled eight top advocates for freedom hailing from Cuba, Hong Kong, Venezuela, and North Korea to speak to America’s classrooms at no charge beginning this fall. Our speakers will tell their personal stories and highlight important lessons about individual liberty, economic freedom, and democratic governance throughout their talks. As the project grows, we plan to produce videos, lesson plans, and other educational resources for teachers to use in the classroom.
Do you know a high school teacher, professor, college group, or civic association that might be interested in hearing from our Dissidents? If so, please pass along the website today… and check it out yourself!