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Going There: Civics 101 - What Does It Mean To Be A Good Citizen?

In many countries, citizenship means you are required to do something. In America, a fundamental right for many is the freedom from government.

But the 2016 election saw voter turnout at a 20-year low. Some polls show a public either turned off by politics and government, or unwilling to engage with people with different views. Other polls show many Americans are uninformed when it comes to basic facts about their country.

Some are reflecting on whether the United States is at a crisis point with regard to civic engagement. In an era of seemingly toxic partisanship and withdrawal from the public sphere, is freedom from government enough to ensure a healthy democracy?

Tonight at 7 p.m. EST, NPR's Going There with Michel Martin and WVIA present a provocative discussion around the question of what is means to be a good citizen in 2017. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NPRGoodNeighbor.

Social Media Guests

Sarah Hofius Hall, @HofiusHallTT, education reporter for The Times-Tribune (@timestribune)

Colbert King, @king_i, columnist for The Washington Post (@washingtonpost)

Heather McGhee, @hmcghee, president of Demos (@Demos_Org)

Gia Wilson, @socialcap, outreach coordinator at Social Capital, Inc.

Featured Guests

Amilcar Arroyo, president and editor of El Mensajero newspaper, Hazleton, PA

Eric Liu, @ericpliu, founder and CEO of Citizen University (@CitizenUniv)

Andrea Mulrine, former president, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania

Linda Cliatt-Wayman, @LCliattWayman, former principal of Strawberry Mansion High School in Philadelphia

Salena Zito, @SalenaZito, CNN contributor and New York Post columnist

With a special video message from former vice president Joe Biden

Featured Performers

Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, @BTE

Bethel AME Worship Team and Youth Choir

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Victoria Whitley-Berry is a director and producer for Morning Edition. They also briefly helped to produce NPR's history podcast Throughline. They joined NPR in 2016 as an intern for All Things Considered on the weekend. Born and raised in Tallahassee, Fla., Whitley-Berry has a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Texas Christian University.
Michel Martin is the weekend host of All Things Considered, where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted "Michel Martin: Going There," an ambitious live event series in collaboration with Member Stations.
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