The American Democracy Project (ADP) is a network of more than 250 state colleges and universities focused on public higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. ADP was established in 2003 as a nonpartisan initiative of the American Association of State Colleges Universities (AASCU); the University of Central Missouri joined the following year.
The project grows out of a concern about decreasing rates of participation in the civic life of America in voting, in advocacy, in local grassroots associations, and in other forms of civic engagement that are necessary for the vitality of our democracy. Focusing on the development of informed graduates who are committed to lives of engagement as citizens in our democracy, the American Democracy Project rests on a core belief: that civic engagement is critical for the preservation and vitality of American democracy.
At UCM, the American Democracy Project's purpose is to create opportunities for students to participate in an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement. ADP sponsors and co-sponsors a variety of programs and events each year which provide campus community members the opportunity to learn about, discuss, and engage in contemporary socio-political issues, voter mobilization, and community service.
ADP programs and activities are organized by the Campus Coordinator and Student Coordinator under the guidance and recommendations of a Steering Committee, with faculty and student representatives from each of the academic colleges.
On September 17, 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia held their final meeting, and signed the Constitution of the United States of America. Each year, the University of Central Missouri commemorates this defining moment in American history with a series of events and activities.
One Campus, One Book is a common reading program at UCM whose purpose is to engage all of our students and campus community in a shared, academically-driven experience. This initiative is intended to bring meaningful conversations on relevant, complex subjects beyond the classroom and into students' daily lives. The program culminates in a campus visit by the book's author.
Every year in April, we celebrate Pursuit of Happiness day on the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth. The day features a variety of programs and activities and is co-sponsored with the Social Work program.
An award is given on Pursuit of Happiness Day to a faculty or staff member that goes beyond the call of duty to make others happy.
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Each year in October, we take a day to recognize that individuals are overworked and schedules are so overloaded that society’s health and relationships are at risk. This day is focused on setting aside time for self, family, friends, and wellness. As part of the event, a peace tree is decorated with individual’s wishes and dreams.
Each year in February the American Democracy Project hosts a speaker as part of Unity Week.
Each month ADP sponsors a faculty/staff facilitated dialogue about a contemporary issue.