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Defending American Democracy Series

Dialogues on the Future of U.S. Democracy

American democracy is facing a critical moment. The next two electoral cycles may well determine whether the United States deepens its democracy or faces an erosion that gradually weakens its democratic system. The McCain Institute is deeply committed to standing on the side of democracy and progress and is making it a top institutional priority to make our voice heard in service of restoring faith in fact-based journalism, countering mis- and disinformation, and most importantly defending our American democracy.   

To do so, the McCain Institute is launching a series of complementary and mutually reinforcing conversations designed to advance this cause by convening key stakeholders, empowering likeminded organizations, engaging elected officials and communicating with the public. At a time when so many have lost the courage to stand up for truth, this work will be inspired by Senator McCain’s legacy of political courage—putting service to country before politics and leading as a voice of reason and clarity that inspired others to join a just cause.

In the Senator’s own words: “We don’t build walls to freedom and opportunity. We tear them down. We will act on our founding conviction that all people have equal dignity and should be accorded the same respect by the laws and governments. We never hide from history. We make history.” His words compel us to contribute to an effort to change history for the better.


Defending American Democracy Conversations

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

We are social investors who support democracy by funding free expression and journalism, arts and culture in community, research in areas of media and democracy, and in the success of American cities and towns where the Knight brothers once had newspapers. Learn more at and follow @knightfdn on social media.