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“What does democracy mean to you?” Project Entries

Youth Division

Title: Democracy is freedom of speech, Medium: Watercolor on paper

"I believe Democracy is freedom of speech. This illustrates that anyone has the right to vote." – Austin T., Age 12


Title: Let Your Voice Be Heard, Medium: Acrylic paint on paper 

"We all have a voice and it needs to be amplified. We speak for our country." – Amanda T., Age 14


Adult Division

Title: Democracy: Better Than the Alternative

Medium: Written

The human race resolved disputes mostly through violence until The Enlightenment produced the U.S. Constitution—an imperfect effort to protect human rights without violence: law above force.

– Peter R.

Title: Democracy: A Fruit Tree, Medium: Digital

Of the People, By the People, For the People

The ROOTS represent "of the people." Tangled and thin roots symbolize the diversity of the population and their interconnectedness.

The TRUNK represents "by the people." A strong trunk that rises from the roots, signifying the collective action and participation of the people.

The BRANCHES and LEAVES represent "for the people." The branches and leaves of different shapes and sizes reach out, providing shade and shelter for everyone.

The FRUlT it bears is accessible to all, representing the positive outcomes and benefits a government

"of the people, by the people, for the people" strives to achieve.

– Ronald B.


About the Project

The project, designed for adults and youth, has three goals: inspire artistic expression, encourage critical thinking about democracy and fundraise for the Center.

The project addresses important questions by asking youth of all  ages  (with parental permission) and adults to depict their meaning of democracy using visual art and the written word.

  • What does democracy mean to us individually and collectively? 

  • What are threats to democracy? 

  • What decisions do we make to protect democracy, the U.S. Constitution, and the important work of the Center and similar organizations?

Take action to submit your entry and raise your voice. All approved submissions will be listed on the Center’s Threadless store and made available for public viewing and purchase. Profits from sales of the “What does democracy mean to you?” collection will go to the Center. Submissions are due June 1, 2024 at 5 p.m. EDT (UTC-4) through the Center’s website.

Adult participants are encouraged to continue learning through the Center’s Eradicating Racism: A Path Forward learning series, Finding Your Voice Program, Reading for Understanding, Let's Talk Series: The White Power Movement: Its History, Threat and What You Can Do About It and future events.

Entrants must adhere to the Guidelines, Rules and Agreement. All project submissions must be made using the following forms by June 1, 2024 at 5:00:00 pm EDT (UTC-4).

We encourage you to share the “What does democracy mean to you?” project. To increase visibility, please use the following hashtag on social media #wddmty and mention the Center: @dcbcenter (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok), @dockcbracycenter (Instagram).


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