The Georgia 3Rs Project, led by Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, is a three-year initiative designed to create demonstration models of religious literacy and religious liberty in three Georgia public school districts.
The Georgia 3Rs Project is guided by the national consensus guidelines on the role of religion in public schools collected in Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Schools, written and edited by Dr. Charles C. Haynes and Oliver S. Thomas, Esq. These guidelines are framed by a shared commitment to religious liberty as an inalienable right as guaranteed by the First Amendment; the civic responsibility to guard that right for others, including those with whom they disagree; and the respect that is necessary to maintain civil discourse across differences in religion and belief.
The “3Rs for Religious Liberty“—rights, responsibility, respect—originates from the Williamsburg Charter, which was signed by 100 national leaders on June 22, 1988, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Virginia’s call for a Bill of Rights.
Enable stakeholders—students, parents, teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and school-board members—to learn about First Amendment approaches to religion and education in Georgia school districts.
Offer accredited graduate-level courses for teams of teachers and administrators in the three districts, preparing them to use First Amendment principles to expand students’ study about religions in the curriculum and to ensure religious liberty in their schools.
Develop new educational resources that will sustain a commitment to religious literacy and religious liberty in the demonstration model school districts and in school districts across the state and nation.
Identify college and university partners for each of the demonstration districts, first to provide additional religious studies resources for teachers and second to collaborate in developing a strategic plan for offering college-level courses for high-school students through the Move On When Ready (Dual Enrollment) Act.
The Georgia 3Rs Project will serve as a model for the state and the nation on how to ensure religious literacy and religious liberty in public schools within the civic framework provided by the First Amendment. Nowhere it is more important – or more challenging – to address questions of religious liberty and religious diversity than in the public schools, the principal institutions charged with enabling Americans to live and work together across differences.
The Georgia 3Rs Project’s advisory council represents a broad range of perspectives but are united by the shared vision of religious freedom as an inalienable right for all people. The following advisers provide candid guidance and feedback as we work to promote First Amendment approaches to religious literacy and liberty in Georgia public schools. Affiliations are included for identification purposes only.
|The Rev. Dr. Joanna Adams, M.Div., D.D.
Morningside Presbyterian ChurchRabbi Peter Berg
Kevin Burke, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.
The Rev. Sam Candler, D.D.
The Rev. Bill Clarkson, M.Div., D.Min.
Ethel Ware Carter
The Rev. Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Durley, M.A., Ph.D., M.Div.
The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr., Ph.D., M.Div.
Mark Goldfeder J.D., LL.M., S.J.D.
Erin Hames, J.D.
|The Rev. Dr. James Neil (Dock) Hollingsworth, M.Div., Ph.D.
Second Ponce de Leon Baptist ChurchSoumaya Kalifa, M.A.
Founder and Executive Director
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
John Kutsko, M.A., Ph.D.
Rev. Natosha Reid Rice, M. Div.
Khalid Siddiq, M.D.
Steve J. Smith, M.B.A., Ed.S.
Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Ph.D.
Alvin Wilbanks, M.A., Ed.S.
Woody White, M.B.A.
Rev. Dr. George Wirth, D.Min., D.D.
Gareth Young, M.A.
For question regarding the Georgia 3Rs Project, please contact David Callaway.