What does it mean to be an American?
Eric Liu, who served as speechwriter for President Clinton and was nominated by President Obama to serve on the board of directors of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, asked that question.
In 2014 Liu launched the Aspen Institute Program on Citizenship and American Identity to advance the conversation about the nature of American national identity. Today Liu is the CEO of Citizen University, a non-profit organization that promotes what it calls “powerful citizenship.”
Sworn-Again America is a program that is part of the effort of Citizen University to revitalize citizenship. Inspired by the naturalization process for immigrants to become American citizens, Sworn-Again America invites citizens to renew their civic vows.
One step in this process is to take the Sworn-Again 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
Citizen University wants to “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.”
Whether “in ceremonies at dinner tables, schools, block parties, or town squares, with five or five thousand,” Citizen University invites us all to take the oath to become a Sworn-Again American.
Would you be willing to take this small step?