We the People's Project
A politically and racially diverse group of working-class Americans working together to build a house united in America.
Americans without four-year college degrees represent the vast majority of Americans (65 percent, to be exact).
We are Black, Brown, and White.
We might see ourselves as blue-collar, working-class, or just your everyday American.
We are among the everyday people essential to building America and keeping her running: truck drivers, restaurant workers, electricians, nurses, factory workers, you name it.
But we are often sidelined and stereotyped in the media and in the public conversation. We are often spoken of, but rarely spoken with.
It contributes to a growing partisan divide in America and to distrust in each other. It erodes the possibility of “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” It makes “We the People” seem like an old pipe dream.
That’s why we started We the People’s Project at Braver Angels in April 2021. (Note: we were formerly called, “The Working People’s Project.”)
We are building a working-class coalition of conservatives, progressives, and others, of every race and ethnicity, who are committed to working with each other—rather than against each other—to strengthen our democratic republic.
Our Main Initiative: We the People's Forum
We the People’s Forum is a place where everyday Americans get time at the podium. In this Forum, held on Zoom, we tell our stories and share our perspectives on the issues of the day. We hear from people of all races, classes, places, and politics. Together, we’re exploring how We the People can build a more perfect union in a divided America.
The format is a a 90-minute, moderated conversation. The conversations typically take place with two speakers, often with differing perspectives. After about 45 minutes of discussion with the speaker(s), there is about 45 minutes of Discussion and Q & A with the audience. During this segment anyone with direct experience on the issue at hand is encouraged to speak up and anyone may ask a question.
The goals of the Forum are the following:
- More understanding of the lived experiences and perspectives of working-class people and other ordinary Americans.
- Find areas of common ground.
- See how a diverse group of We the People can work together to help our country depolarize and build our democratic republic.
- Build the membership, leadership, and visibility of working people within and outside of Braver Angels.
Upcoming We The People's Forums...
Past We the People’s Forums
Who We Are
Our work is driven by a leadership team whose occupations and backgrounds reflect our working-class spirit. True to the Braver Angels emphasis on red/blue balance, we include a balance of people who lean Red, Blue, and Other.
- Apple Muncy of Bloomington, Indiana, is a retired tool and die maker.
- Annette Ritter of Little Orleans, Maryland, is an Addictions Counselor Trainee employed in Hagerstown, Maryland; an Allegany College of Maryland graduate; and member of the We the People’s Project Leadership Team at Braver Angels. She lives with her husband, 3 cats, and a red slider turtle on a five-acre parcel in beautiful western Maryland.
- Corrie Zech of Middletown, Ohio, is a former McDonald’s employee of 13 years and is currently attending college for Health Information Management.
- Daniel Morales of Winnsboro, South Carolina, works in sales and is the Red state co-coordinator in South Carlolina for Braver Angels.
- Darcy Crosman of El Sobrante, California, is a retired union pipe welder and a freelance editor.
- David Lapp of South Lebanon, Ohio, is a co-founder of Braver Angels and director of We the People’s Project.
- Janelle Burke of Everett, Washington, is a former nurse and school board candidate; the founder
and editor of WakeUpSnoCo; and co-founder of Embrace. Reclaim. Heal – Because We Care, a community outreach organization dedicated to healing in the Black community and for U.S. veterans.
- Jerry Silberman of Douglassville, Pennsylvania, was a factory worker for years and is semi-retired as a labor organizer in health care.
- Lincoln Earle-Centers, married, father of two high-school boys and a daughter in elementary school, is an ISA certified arborist running a small tree care company in central Vermont.
- Richard Aberdeen has over 20 years experience in trucking and about 15 years in commercial construction. Upon severely hurting his back, he then formed his own merchant account company. After living in several states and many cities, he eventually moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he formed a record label that records socially conscious, humorous and meaningful songs. He is also the author of 5 books, which are available online at no cost at www.FreedomTracks.com.
- Rita Chisum of Russelville, Arkansas, has been continuing the “Great Adventure” of marriage–with all its ups and downs–for the past 41 years, is a mother of two daughters and “Nonna” (Italian for Grandmother) of five, 6+ years retail experience, office assistant/manager, community volunteer, freelance writer and lifelong wisdom seeker.
- Romello Davis is originally from Washington, DC, and is obtaining an associates in psychology and sociology at Allegany College of Maryland, then transferring to Frostburg State University for a bachelor’s in social work. His experiences of homelessness as a youth and dropping out of high school help to fuel his aspiration to work with children, perhaps as a counselor, and starting a nonprofit organization for youth.
- Wilk Wilkinson of Clearwater, Minnesota, is the founder and host of the Derate the Hate Podcast and distribution manager for a welding supplies and gas distributor.