Democracy Festival at First Parish in Concord


On Friday, May 19, First Parish in Concord held a panel discussion titled Democracy: Its Value and for Whom? with four excellent speakers:

  • Danielle Allen, Harvard professor and founder of Partners in Democracy
  • Irene Koval, Ukranian playwright, novelist, and essayist
  • Shanique Spaulding, Executive Director, MA Voter Table
  • Jim Tull, expert in international conflict management

A video of this well attended and much appreciated event is available at: 

On Saturday, May 20, First Parish in Concord hosted a non-partisan Democracy Festival. Our goal was to bring together people from all over to celebrate democracy, have fun, eat good foods, sing together, explore our artistry, meet  local politicians, and learn about current issues facing our country and how we can help. A video of this event is available at

Twenty-seven different social justice groups participated in the event. It was a great success. The church buildings were alive with conversation – people engaging with one another about needed social change, democracy, voting, Ukraine, the environment, immigration, civil liberties, women’s rights, racial justice, diversity, LGBTQ+ rights, important events in history, campaign finance reform, antisemitism, and having community owned local news media and grocery co-ops.

That’s what civic engagement is all about. It’s what we need in order to have a healthy democracy. During and after the festival we received dozens of positive comments from members of the various participating organizations and from the attendees. People loved the festival!

It’s time for Americans across races, places and parties to come together, as we have in our past, to promote democracy, block the anti-democracy faction, and protect our freedoms. We need to see each other in person, to talk with one another, to learn, and to find out how we can help. And we need to take action together.