The American Founding: Toward A More Perfect Union

Great Conversation, Robert Woodson | Indianapolis, IN | May 4, 2022

Featuring Robert Woodson, civil rights activist, social commentator and winner of a MacArthur “genius” grant. Mr. Woodson, who has done extensive work in Indianapolis through the Woodson Center (formerly Center for Neighborhood Enterprise), will explore the Founding using key Trust works as well as through the lens of the Center’s Project 1776 Unites. Mr. Woodson is based in Washington, D.C., where he has advised Presidents, Congress and the broader policy making community on the needs and concerns of African-Americans and low-income Americans of all races.

1776 Unites is a movement to positively shape the American future by drawing on the best of its past. Radically pragmatic and unapologetically patriotic, it offers—through its essays and curricula—an inspirational and aspirational alternative to the prevailing narrative of racial grievance being perpetuated by an alarming number of businesses, schools, and government institutions.

 Further, 1776 Unites is a nonpartisan and intellectually diverse alliance of writers, thinkers, and activists focused on solutions to our country’s greatest challenges in education, culture, and upward mobility.

Its leaders acknowledge that racial discrimination exists — and work towards diminishing it. But they dissent from contemporary groupthink and rhetoric about race, class, and American history that defames our national heritage, divides our people, and instills a sense of helplessness among those who already hold within themselves the grit and resilience to better their lot in life.

Key Trust texts on display and available to hold and peruse prior to each session included:

The Magna Carta, a 1350 early English edition.

Frederick Douglass Autobiography, 1855.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriett Beecher Stowe, 1852

Declaration of Independence, 1776 (rare printing)

The Federalist Papers

The US Constitution, Connecticut printing (1789 rare edition)

The Institutes, John Calvin, 1536 edition

Second Treatise on Government, John Locke, 1689