Our hearts are full from Civic Saturday. Guided by music and poetry, we joined with people across the nation to listen, reflect, and recommit to the practice of living like a citizen.

Our theme for the day was renewal — what gives us life? How can we commit to showing up as a citizen this week? “What will help you deepen, reengage, or sustain you in what you’re already doing?” Jená asked us.

Explore the art and ideas from the gathering below — or watch (and share!) the video in full.

Poetry from Hakim Bellamy

Our good friend — and Civic Saturday Fellow — Hakim Bellamy composed an original poem for this gathering called Civic Symphony (A rehearsal for “the real thing”). “It is incredibly easy,” he said, “to tell the difference between a concerto or one person just making noise.”

YouTube preview of Hakim Bellamy speaking.

Read the full poem here → 

Hakim also shared a poem from Rita Dove, and reminded us of Alice Walker’s children’s book called Why War Is A Bad Idea. (You can watch her reading it here.)

Music by Jose ‘Juicy’ Gonzales

Local Seattle musician Jose Gonzales moved our hearts with his renditions of Imagine and Pure Imagination. He created space for us to reflect on how we can dream our democracy into being.

YouTube preview of Jose Gonzales at the piano.

Learn more about Jose’s music here →

Civic Sermon by Eric Liu

Eric opened his civic sermon with three themes: perspective, curiosity, and commitment. He spoke about how we can support Ukraine by being fierce advocates for democracy here at home. Listen to or read his sermon to reflect on interwoven ideas around curiosity, luxury, and the stakes we face.

YouTube preview of Eric Liu speaking.

Here’s an excerpt from the sermon:

What do I do? Commit. Commit to fortifying democracy here. What is being invaded is democracy itself. Commit to making freedom more robust. Freedom is responsibility, not just the right to do what you wish. Let us commit to learn our history and argue it — all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly.

What do I do? Join. Join groups and associations that will keep on meeting, gatherings like Civic Saturday. Get out of isolation, not just with finding birds of a feather, but in the spirit of pluralism.

What do I do? Build. Build a thing that has never been built in human history. Though we may be cynical, though we may be tired, frustrated, building this multi-racial, democratic republic requires a commitment to tolerance, curiosity, and perspective.

Read the full civic sermon text →

Thank you to all who joined us on Zoom and to all participated in spirit. Are you interested in hosting your own Civic Saturday in your community?

Learn about the Civic Saturday Fellowship →