Conference on Democracy

While "think, question, and create" has become the motto of Marin Academy, it is the second part of our mission statement—that MA "challenges each person to accept the responsibilities posed by education in a democratic society"—that inspires the Conference on Democracy, now in its 15th year. The Conference’s origins were modest: a lunch-line conversation between two teachers sparked the idea of integrating the school’s mission more deeply into our daily intellectual and social practices. Now an eagerly-anticipated annual event, the Conference provides a wide array of perspectives on political, social, economic, and environmental issues that our communities face locally, nationally, and globally.
Each year, the Conference invites local, national, and global luminaries to share their professional perspectives and personal experiences with the community. Well-balanced panels debate hot-button topics such as immigration policy, election integrity, and environmental issues. In the last several years, the Conference has fueled curricular innovation and community engagement, with both teachers and students planning and presenting sessions.
The Conference on Democracy earned national recognition for Marin Academy seven years ago when the National Association of Independent Schools named MA a Leading Edge School in the category of Equity and Justice. According to Orville Schell, keynote speaker at the 2008 Conference and former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, “Marin Academy’s Conference on Democracy is a wonderful and intelligent convocation that comes at precisely the time in their young students’ lives when all the formative intellectual and political muscle of their future lives is being formed. If this country is to help engender real citizens out of the next generation, there is surely no better way to do it than this.”
Conference on Democracy March 11, 2020