Join us at our national convening in the City of Philadelphia for our Third Annual National Symposium at the National Constitution Center in September 15th. Register for our VIP Reception at the Wyndham Hotel (Historic District) on September 14th while you’re at it. Our theme this year is “E. Pluribus Unum or Divided?” as we explore what unites us as a country and where social divisions might be widening. 


The National Constitution Center is our host site for the 3rd year in a row. The day will begin at 9:00am with a continental breakfast. The morning sessions will host panel discussions on social divisions as they relate to the First Amendment. A working lunch will address ways in which we can engage in civil dialogue both as students and non-students. During the afternoon, we will spotlight the NFL Kneeling Controversy in a Town Hall forum debate. We will have a veteran, NFL football player and other perspectives featured.

First Amendment Voice Director Col. Steve Miska on the upcoming symposium.

Will you be in Philadelphia this September 15? This is your chance to win FREE admission to our National Symposium at the National Constitution Center! It’s easy, all you have to do is:

  1.  Follow @1stamendmentvoice 
  2.  Post a photo showing how you bring people together in your community and tag it #FAVunity.

That’s it! Winners selected every week. Your submission will also be eligible for a Grand Prize at the end of August!


Janessa Gans Wilder is a former CIA officer turned peacebuilder, social entrepreneur, and nonprofit executive. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Euphrates Institute, a grassroots peacebuilding organization. She founded Euphrates after five years at the CIA focused on the Middle East, including serving 21 months in Iraq from 2003-2005. Janessa is a frequent speaker in interfaith, community, government, international, and educational settings. She has written dozens of articles and been interviewed by major news outlets, including CBS, CNN, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Democracy Now, and many more.

Scott Cooper is the National Security Outreach Director at Human Rights First and leads their project ‘Veterans for American Ideals,’ a nonpartisan movement of military veterans to continue their service by using their voices to encourage America to live up to its ideals. He is a retired Marine who served multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kern Beare is a former vice president of communications for a large technology firm in Silicon Valley, CA. After leaving the corporate world in 2005, he co-founded Global Mindshift, a non-profit offering online facilitated workshops on the essential skills we need to survive and thrive in today’s interconnected and interdependent world. Kern is the founder of Pop the Bubble, an initiative to help heal our current national divide. As part of that initiative he travels the country leading a workshop entitled “Difficult Conversations: The art and science of thinking together.”