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Democracy Project

Delivering America’s Promise

The American Democracy Project recognizes our role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens in our democracy.
The American Democracy Project (ADP) is a civic engagement initiative launched in 2003 as a collaborative effort of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the New York Times. Today, more than 230 institutions of higher learning share in the mission of this project. 
American Democracy Project campuses share in three qualities that define our work and characterize our common commitments:
  • We are institutions of access and opportunity. We believe the American promise should be real for all Americans and that belief shapes our commitment to access, affordability, and educational opportunity, and in the process, strengthens American democracy for all citizens.
  • We are student-centered institutions. We place the student in the heart of our enterprise, enhancing the learning environment and student achievement not only through teaching and advising but through our research, discussion, and public service activities.
  • We are stewards of place. We engage students, faculty, and staff with the communities and regions we serve, helping to advance public education, economic development, and the quality of life for all with whom we live and who support our work.

2023 Constitution Week

Constitution Week exposes UAFS students to the history behind the U.S. Constitution so that they may become better informed and engaged citizens.

UAFS Campus Events

"A Discussion on the U.S. Constitution" - special presentation on display throughout the week

  • Date: Monday-Friday, Sept. 18-22
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Location: Boreham LIbrary

UAFS Students and Citizenship: The Importance of the U.S. Constitution to UAFS Lions - meet and learn hosted by the UAFS Student Government Association.

  • Date: Tuesday, Sept. 19
  • Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center SGA Office

U.S. Constitution Lecture by Dr. Eric Baker

  • Date: Tuesday, Sept. 19
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center Fireplace

A Written Constitution, the Greatest Improvement on Political Institutions - public lecture hosted by Dr. Farreol Hansen

  • Date: Wednesday, Sept. 20
  • Time: Noon
  • Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center Fireplace

U.S. Constitution Quiz Bowl

  • Date: Thursday, Sept. 21
  • Time: Noon
  • Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center Fireplace

Public Showing of Documentary on the Constitutional Convention

  • Date: Friday, Sept. 22
  • Time: 11 a.m.
  • Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center Fireplace

2023 MLK Day Celebration

The theme of this year's MLK Day Celebration, "Crossing the Bridge Over Troubled Waters," seeks to highlight the importance of coming together to address issues facing our commonwealth, one of the pillars of Dr. King's legacy.

Numerous activities are planned on campus and throughout the Fort Smith community.

The Democracy Project is holding a peanut butter drive in conjunction with all MLK Week events. Peanut butter jars collected at all events during this week will be donated to the River Valley Foodbank.

UAFS Campus

Civil Rights Movement Book Display

  • Dates: Tuesday-Saturday, Jan. 17-21, 2023
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Location: Boreham Library

Civil Rights Movement Lecture - a public lecture by Dr. Matt McCoy, associate professor, UAFS Department of History, Social Sciences, and Philosophy

  • Date: Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023
  • Time: 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
  • Location: Gardner 201

Collaboration to Foster Cultural Tolerance - a public presentation by Dr. Ann-Gee Lee, professor and assistant chair, Department of English, Rhetoric and Writing, and Media Communication. 

  • Date: Friday, Jan. 20, 2023
  • Time: 1-1:50 p.m.
  • Location: Vines 235

Community Celebrations

A Concert of Prayer

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023
  • Time: 5 p.m.
  • Location: James Missionary Baptist Church, 4916 High St., Fort Smith

MLK Day Breakfast and Panel Discussion - This year's panelists have a track record of helping find solutions to problems affecting our community. They will share their respective experience in finding community-centered solutions to problems affecting the River Valley.

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 16, 2023
  • Time: 7:30 a.m.
  • Location: Elm Grove Community Center, MLK Park, Fort Smith
  • Panelists: 
    • Carl Geffken, Fort Smith city administrator
    • Keith Gibson, businessman and Arkansas State Highway Commission member
    • Dr. Ann-Gee Lee, UAFS professor, UAFS Cultural Network advisor, Literacy Council board member
    • Karla Palma, community organizer, Arkansas United Community Coalition
    • Rep. Jay Richardson, state representative - District 49
  • Moderator: Nya Stewart, UAFS student

March Around MLK Park

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 16, 2023
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.
  • Location: Elm Grove Community Center, MLK Park, Fort Smith

2023 State of the City Address 

 The UAFS Democracy Project and the UAFS Political Science department will host Fort Smith Mayor George McGill's State of the City Address. This event will also be live streamed.

Date: Monday, Feb. 27
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center Reynolds Room


From ADP Civic Engagement 2.0 Literature

Throughout the academic year, our campus ADP committee recognizes Constitution Week (centered on Constitution Day, Sept. 17) and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (third Monday in January). Additionally, we offer voter registration drives, featured speakers, panel discussions, and other events aimed at fostering civic engagement and political participation on our campus and in the Fort Smith community.
All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend our meetings and to participate in our events. If you would like to learn more about the UAFS Democracy Project or serve on the UDP Taskforce, please contact Dr. Williams Yamkam, chair of the UAFS Democracy Project.

UAFS/American Democracy Project Social Media


For more information, contact:

Dr. Williams Yamkam
Vines 112