The Georgia 3Rs Project

Rights • Responsibility • Respect

 

A First Amendment framework for Promoting religious literacy & religious liberty in Georgia public schools

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.

 

The Georgia 3Rs Project has five key objectives:

1. ENGAGE SCHOOLS

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.

2. PREPARE LEADERS

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.

3. PUBLISH RESOURCES

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.

4. CREATE PARTNERSHIPS

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.

5. MODEL FOR THE NATION

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.

 

Advisory Council

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.
Pastor Emeritus
Morningside Presbyterian Church

Rabbi Peter Berg
Senior Rabbi
The Temple

Brad Bryant
Vice President
REACH Georgia

Ed Buckner
Former President
American Atheists

Kevin Burke, M.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Professor
UGA College of Education

The Rev. Sam Candler, D.D.
Dean
Cathedral of St. Philip

The Rev. Bill Clarkson, M.Div., D.Min.
Emeritus Head
The Westminster Schools

Ethel Ware Carter
Director of Programs
Regional Council of Churches of Atlanta

The Rev. Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Durley, M.A., Ph.D., M.Div.
Pastor Emeritus
Providence Missionary Baptist Church

Joseph Feinberg, M.A., Ed. S., Ph.D.
NCSS Board of Directors Officer and Associate Professor
National Council for the Social Studies
GSU College of Education & Human Development

The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr., Ph.D., M.Div.
Senior Advisor to the President
Emory University

Mark Goldfeder J.D., LL.M., S.J.D.
Senior Fellow and Project Director
Center for the Study of Law and Religion

The Rev. Dr. James Neil (Dock) Hollingsworth, M.Div., Ph.D.
Senior Pastor
Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church

Soumaya Kalifa, M.A.
Founder and Executive Director
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta

John Kutsko, M.A., Ph.D.
Executive Director
Society of Biblical Literature

Judy Marx
Executive Director
Interfaith Community Initiatives

Rev. Natosha Reid Rice, M. Div.
Associate Pastor
Ebenezer Baptist Church

Khalid Siddiq, M.D.
Director of PR
Al-Farooq Masjid

Steve J. Smith, M.B.A., Ed.S.
Superintendent,
Bleckley County Public Schools

Rabbi Alvin Sugarman, Ph.D.
Emeritus Rabbi
The Temple

Alvin Wilbanks, M.A., Ed.S.
Superintendent
Gwinnett County Public Schools

Woody White, M.B.A.
President
Cecil B. Day Foundation

Rev. Dr. George Wirth, D.Min., D.D.
Consultant
C.F. Foundation

Gareth Young, M.A.
Interfaith Leader and Co-founder
Red Clay Sangha

For question regarding the Georgia 3Rs Project, please contact David Callaway.

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