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How would the US Constitution be different if you were in the room?

What would you add? What would you take out? Who would you invite to join you?

As part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ A More Perfect Union Initiative, PA Humanities asked young people across the state to share their thoughts on the nation’s founding document during the summer of 2022, and they had a lot to say.

A few exceptional participants were selected for a special educational experience that included a private tour of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway with an opportunity to speak to the cast.

Check out the warm welcome and original invitation to participate in If You Were In The Room from PA Humanities board member Gisele Fetterman.

Featured Submissions

Why did we do this?

We believe the humanities can be a tool for civic engagement and leadership, through education, critical reflection, storytelling and dialogue. Amplifying the often unheard voices of young people is one way to bring fresh perspectives to the conversation and work towards a more equitable future.

As we approach the 250th anniversary of our country, we recognize that the challenges this generation face are impacted by the decisions of our past.

The If You Were In The Room initiative brought in passionate, thoughtful and creative submissions that engaged deeply with ideas about women’s rights, the 2nd Amendment, LGBTQ+ representation, slavery, quartering soldiers and more. From them, we selected a group of participants to join us for a curated educational experience to explore these issues further.

Dive In Further

We can all learn from the vision, creativity and courage these young people have to reflect on our past and shape our collective future. View more of their submissions here.

The Experience

  • Private tour of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia

  • Chartered trip to New York City with lunch at Carmine’s restaurant

  • Tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway

  • Opportunity to talk to the cast after show

Selected for Educational Experience

NameLocationAge
Angelic Cortes-BianchiKing of Prussia20
Andrew Foster VUpper Chichester16
Molly HoffmanBethel Park20
Faith JohnsonHavertown23
James KeenanEagleville25
Alexandria KisowPittsburgh19
Zivai SinemaniPhiladelphia21
Anna SkeelsPittsburgh20
Nyla WildmanPhiladelphia17
Jadyn WilliamsUpper Chichester19
Chloe YoungbloodPhiladelphia18

Teacher Resources

For educators who are interested in facilitating a similar program, we created this handout to help out!

We believe the humanities in action are a tool for civic engagement and leadership, through education, critical reflection, storytelling and dialogue. Centering marginalized voices, including those of young people, is how we counter dominant narratives and create equitable futures. The challenges young people face today are impacted by the decisions of our past. 

We can all learn from the vision, creativity, and courage young leaders have to understand the past and shape our collective future.

If You Were In The Room has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the A More Perfect Union initiative. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or PA Humanities.

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