The Sworn-Again America Oath helps us recommit to being useful to our community and our country.
What binds us together with our fellow Americans? It’s not a single identity, religion, or language. It’s our creed that unites us: the ideas and values that we share — and commit to.
This creed comes to life when we demonstrate our belief in our democracy and in one another. After all, democracy works only when enough of us believe democracy works! So how do we demonstrate this belief and commitment? When naturalizing immigrants become American citizens, they learn the history and the civic scripture of our nation. And, importantly, they come together to take an oath. We got to thinking: What would it look like for all of us to take an oath? For citizens of long standing and Americans new and old to renew our civic vows? To become Sworn-Again?
Inspired by the naturalization oath for immigrants, we created the Sworn-Again America oath so each of us can experience the urgency, the solemnity, yet also the utter joy of choosing citizenship actively.
Sworn-Again America is meant for all of us, whether we’ve been in this country for days or decades, whatever our own legal status is. Not to be born again, but to be sworn again. It helps us recommit to being useful to our community and our country. It’s a chance to renew our vows as citizens.
The Sworn-Again America Oath
I pledge to be an active American
to show up for others
to govern myself
to help govern my community.
I recommit myself to my country’s creed
to cherish liberty
as a responsibility.
I pledge to serve
and to push my country:
when right, to be kept right;
when wrong, to be set right.
Wherever my ancestors and I were born,
I claim America
and I pledge to live like a citizen.
Hosting Sworn-Again ceremonies
We’ve put together a way for people to host their own ceremonies in all kinds of settings: military bases, classrooms, college campuses, dinner tables. You can take the oath to become a Sworn-Again American right now — or host a gathering for others. Where will you host your own ceremony?
Step 1: Organize your ceremony.
You can make it your own by adding elements of song, story or play. Your ceremony can be large or small, public or private, playful or serious. You can integrate it into existing gatherings as a ritual to wrap up. Any way you do it will be perfect.
Step 2: Download and practice the ceremony script.
Choose someone to lead your Sworn-Again America ceremony, then choose three people to be readers. Give a copy of the readings to each reader.
Step 3: Host your ceremony — and let us know how it went!
We’d love to hear how you adapted the oath to fit your needs. Take a selfie, record a video, or post a reflection and be sure to tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
Let’s spark a movement that will inspire Americans to become more engaged in civic life, more connected to people from all walks of life, more grateful for the opportunities and freedoms that come with citizenship, and more willing to show up and take on the responsibilities of citizenship.
Let’s renew our vows to America. Let’s say it out loud. Let’s be Sworn-Again Americans.
This project was made possible, in part, by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.