Our goal in this platform is to develop relevant Idea of America value-based programs to be offered undergraduate and graduates students in our universities and colleges. Such programs would be offered as part of the curriculum of those higher education institutions. We will work with various schools and departments to develop such programs and provide relevant resource material.
Currently we are actively working with the University of California at Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, and we are engaged in discussions with Colorado State University, Department of Ethic Studies and Christopher Newport University, Department of Leadership and American Studies.
The School of Social Welfare at Berkeley, led by Dean Jeffrey Edleson, has been a strong supporter and advocate for the Idea of America project from the beginning. He has served as advisor to the founder and director of Idea of America Network. He sponsored a special Dean's Seminar on The Idea of America in 2014 as a "pilot test" of the project. He is currently integrating Idea of America concepts into an introductory Master course. And he has taken the lead in introducing the values and ideals of the Idea of America to other schools of social welfare and social work throughout the nation.
The Code of Ethics of the profession of social work and social policy clearly states: "The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession's history, are the foundation of social work's unique purpose and perspective: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person; importance of human relationships; integrity and competence."
The fact that the profession of social welfare and social work are "value-driven" with a Code of Ethics embracing the fundamental values that gave birth to our nation and are embedded in our Idea of America "Declaration of Premise" makes this academic and research base extremely important in advancing our network goals.
Finally, we are in discussion with academic leaders in the African-American community. This effort is being led by Dr. Ray Black in the Department of Ethnics Studies at Colorado State University.
"My own research and teaching interests connects the history, literature and experiences of Africans brought into the United States through the slave trade and subsequent immigrations to support the current efforts of African-Americans to achieve the unalienable right of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' as well as 'secure the blessings of liberty' promised by our founding documents. I request to be included in the Idea of America Network. The efforts of the network will help us become, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, the "educated citizenry that is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."