We the People: A Work in Progress

Ended Jun 2, 2021

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Full course description





Wednesdays - 5:00-6:30 Central 

February 24-March 31, 2021

With the recent rise in civic engagement and participation, our nation's core principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty are being redefined. While the foundational documents of the United States of America layout the ideals for this country, many of the rights and freedoms they guaranteed did not apply to all. As our country moves forward in the 21st century, we have the ability to reimagine a government where “We the People” means all the people. In this series, we will dive into concepts and systems covered in the founding documents, discussing how they have evolved through time and how they continue to impact us today. 

The United States of America is a work in progress.

February 24, 2021
In the Shadow of Slavery: Confronting the Hard History of our Nation's Founding
Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Our nation’s founders built into the Constitution protections for the institution of slavery believing that America could endure half slave and half free. This presentation explores the troubling truth of the centrality of slavery and racism in our nation’s creation, and the enduring legacy of America’s original sin. 


March 3, 2021
The Presidency: Origins, Evolution, and Today
Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky

Join Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, to learn more about the American presidency, its origins, and how the institution has evolved to better represent all people. In particular, learn how presidents have used the bully pulpit, the cabinet, and other key appointments to pull together the American people.


March 10, 2021
TBD (The Justice System)
Dr. Traci Burch


March 17, 2021
WE are the People
Professor Gilda Daniels

What we call a democracy has only operated as such for a short period of time in this nation’s history. Our democratic state is layered with hypocrisy and paradox. Yet, we have an opportunity to make “we the people” a reality. WE are the people who can force this country to govern according to its creed. We must center the right to vote in our efforts to do the hard and constant work of maintaining a democracy. This session will discuss the historical and contemporaneous efforts to obstruct access to the ballot box. It will also provide ways that we can move from protest to power and establish a more perfect democracy.


March 24, 2021
Representing We the People
Lee Ann Potter, Director of Professional Learning and Outreach Initiatives, Library of Congress
Christine Blackerby, Exhibits Curator, Capitol Visitors Center
Daniel S. Holt, Assistant Historian, U.S. Senate Historical Office
Seth LaShier, U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Historian.

This session will focus on the Legislative Branch of our federal government—the branch often described as the one closest to the people.  Presenters from the Library of Congress, the Capitol Visitors Center, the U.S. Senate Historical Office and the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Historian will share insights, primary sources, and additional resources related to the history of representation in Congress, and the expansion and restriction of rights through Congressional legislation.


March 31, 2021
A Critical Look at the Electoral College 
Professor Wilfred U. Codrington III

More than two centuries after the electoral college was designed to empower southern white voters, the system continues to do just that. This session will take a critical look at the formation and evolution of the electoral college over the history of the United States.


We are offering several options to participate:

1. LIVE: 

Zoom registration for free access to the weekly live webinar series.

Register here.



Joining our Canvas course provides access to the following:

  • Link to livestream of all webinars in this series
  • Access to a recording of all webinars in this series for asynchronous, self paced learning in Canvas until June 1, 2021
  • Access to learning modules with additional resources and discussion groups with fellow educators
  • A certificate upon completion of the course

Register with the enroll button above to join the Canvas course for $25.

The LBJ Library and LBJ Foundation are committed to providing quality professional development that is equitable and accessible. If you are unable to pay the registration fee for Canvas, you can register at no cost by using the code "ACCESSIBLE21"

Would you like to support our efforts to provide quality professional development to all educators, regardless of their ability to pay? You can donate here to help fund another educator's registration fee.


Interested in the spring webinar series and participating in future webinars and courses? This digital educator membership will allow you access to all courses and webinar series for one year for $50. 

Your membership includes the following for one year from the date of your enrollment:  

  • Link to livestream of all webinars 
  • Access to all semester webinar courses (fall, spring, summer)
  • Access to recordings of all webinars for asynchronous, self paced learning
  • Access to learning modules with additional resources and discussion groups with fellow educators in Canvas
  • Access to additional self-paced, asynchronous courses currently in development
  • 45 minute session with a LBJ Library education specialist to provide professional development for your school, consult on curriculum, or speak to your class.
  • More perks to come!

Register here for the Digital Educator Membership, which includes access to the We the People: A Work in Progress webinar series and Canvas course.