October 29, 2022
David Adler, Constitutional scholar and journalist, uses his column “We the People” to promote the public’s understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution. As a component of the South Dakota Humanities Council’s mission to encourage civil conversation, the council is providing program funding to make “We the People” available free-of-charge throughout the state via the South Dakota Newspaper Association.
“We the People,” published weekly, covers different aspects of the U.S. Constitution, such as explaining the meaning of provisions, examining Supreme Court decisions, and promoting civic education.
“The Constitution is all-Broadway, all the time, in the life of our nation,” Adler said. “Knowledge of the Constitution, to borrow from James Madison, empowers the citizenry to promote governmental transparency and accountability and to participate effectively in the great debates of our time.”
Adler discusses many topics in his deciphering study of the Constitution. Some of his recent works focus on gender equality, freedom of speech, and whether a president can be subpoenaed.
“It’s a nice way to educate people a little more with someone who is really well-researched, but completely nonpartisan – someone who is just helping us learn more about the history of the Constitution,” said Jennifer Widman, Director for the South Dakota Center for the Book at SDHC.
Adler has partnered with various humanities councils in other states, like North Dakota and Indiana, to publish his works nationwide. SDHC became involved with the project in September of this year and is constructing a page on its website to share Adler’s columns beginning in November.
The columns are also distributed through the South Dakota Newspaper Association to publications across the state. So far, twelve newspapers have chosen to run Adler’s work, SDNA Executive Director David Bordewyk said.
“Given the topics we’ve seen so far that David’s written in these columns, they get to the issues of being informed citizens, and that starts with knowing a little bit about who we are and where we came from,” Bordewyk said. “It’s a civic lesson delivered every week to the newspaper readers, and I think that’s an important thing.”
Look for “We the People” on the SDHC website this November.
Learn more about humanities programming in South Dakota by signing up for SDHC e-Updates!