In preparing for the 2026 celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Forum on Democracy is sponsoring a contest, inviting communities to respond to the question:
What is your story (or your family’s story) about the American Dream?
The intent of this contest is to create a community network of shared stories, reinvigorating community spirit and exploring what is meant by democracy.
Democracy is a living conversation to explore old and new ideas; it is never static. Each generation must revisit this foundational idea of the American Experiment.
This is one approach to revitalize a needed conversation on democracy and the environment in which we live.
The Forum on Democracy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan diverse group of individuals who have been asking some basic questions:
• Who are we?
• Why are we?
• Where are we?
We are navigating difficult waters as we try to right our ship of state.
The phrase “The American Dream” was first used by historian James Adams in 1931. He described it as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”
This dream is drawn from the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, adapted over time to include the ideas of representative democracy, human rights, liberty, equality and freedom.
Times have changed; what are the stories about the American Dream today?
Your stories may be submitted in the form of words (a sentence, a paragraph or an essay of no more than 600 words), a video (no more than five minutes), art, music, audio or photography.
Anyone may submit as an individual or a group.
Those showing excellence will be awarded monetary prizes of up to $250 and will be published on the Forum on Democracy website and in this newspaper.
Submissions must be received by June 19, and winners will be announced July 4.
To enter, go online to theforum.us.org/contest