The battle for the soul of our country will be won or lost in the classroom. Because this is true, most of our Freedom investments will be focused on education, in both the k-12 and university levels. Within our Freedom Initiatives program area, we support causes and initiatives that:
- Promote the teaching of America’s Founding Principles and History: High-quality, content based civics education not only perpetuates the necessary knowledge for the preservation of our liberty, but also transmits and hones civic skills like listening, civil disagreement, informed decision making, and more. At the core of these skills are the founding documents and ideas of the United States. If kids don’t understand the philosophical foundations of the country, it’s impossible for them to understand who we are and why we are special in human history.
Much of what happens in our country is driven by the attitudes and beliefs of college graduates, so it is important to invest in civic education at the university level. However, many of the ideas and opinions that young people develop are being formed at a much younger ages. Therefore it is also important to begin teaching our founding principles and history at the earliest possible ages and reinforcing this throughout their education. This is how we can develop informed, patriotic citizens who will best be able to help our country realize its highest potential for human freedom. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If you expect to be both ignorant and free, you expect what never was and never will be.”
- Defense and Advocacy of the Principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and its Amendments: Our Declaration of Independence lays out the country’s “mission statement” – the very principles on which our country was founded: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This “mission statement” explains clearly the natural right every individual has to his or her life and liberty and his or her own pursuit of happiness.
The Constitution, with its amendments and amendment procedure, is the blueprint for the form of government that so far has proven best able to protect those rights. The Constitution was a unique and brilliant plan and it is imperative that we support programs and initiatives that not only defend such principles but advocate for their continuity. Such initiatives may include, but are not limited to, formal and informal education programs, “think tanks” and advocacy groups (where permitted).
- Giving Limited to the United States: The Foundation’s giving in this program area is limited to programs in the United States. America should be and should remain what Reagan referred to as a “shining city on a hill” – a guide for others if they choose to follow it.