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October 18

"Democracy" is one of the most important principles for a better world. In its truest sense, a democracy is a community in which all members have an equal say in the running of that community. Unfortunately in reality, democratic societies have fallen short of this ideal. Nevertheless, because of its very nature, once a democracy is established, its citizens can work together to make their society more and more democratic, if they choose to do so.

The Global Youth Democracy Campaign is an annual opportunity for youth to observe October 18 as the World Youth Day for Democracy. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the positive contributions youth are making to promote democracy around the world and to mobilize youth to participate in democracy-building discussions, debates, rallies and educational campaigns about the importance of democratic principles like human rights and civic participation.

In 1996 a coalition of groups in Toronto and Vancouver organized a Media Democracy Day to challenge the monopolization of media outlets by a few corporations. Previously, organizations had organized a Media Democracy Day in Britain on October 18, commemorating the 1922 establishment of the BBC (British Broadcasting Company). By 2002, Media Democracy Day was celebrated in cities throughout the world.

Currently there is an international campaign to urge the United Nations to declare October 18 as Global Democracy Day -- the official international day for democracy (

In the United States there is also a grassroots movement to have the first Tuesday in November - Election Day - declared a federal and state holiday. Many countries help promote democracy by making election day a holiday to make it easier for people to vote and to remind us about this important civil right and duty.


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DO ONE THING for a Better World

1. Find out more about democracy, voting and citizenship.

2. Hold an event to promote and celebrate democracy.

3. Support organizations working to promote democracy.



Democracy Quotes


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Democracy Day - October 18

Jane Addams

Kofi Annan


Roger Nash Baldwin

Daniel Barenboim

Harry Belafonte

Medea Benjamin

Benazir Bhutto

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Barbara Boxer

Fernando Cardoso

Carrie Chapman Catt

Chen Shui-bian

Noam Chomsky

Ramsey Clark

Norman Cousins

Walter Cronkite

Kevin Danaher

Shirin Ebadi

John Edwards

Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Mohandas Gandhi

Akbar Ganji

Ross Gelbspan

Amy Goodman

Xanana Gusmão

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Langston Hughes

Shawnee Hunt

Robert Maynard Hutchins

Aldous Huxley

Molly Ivins

Jesse Jackson

Dahr Jamail

Thomas Jefferson

Marjorie Kelly

Petra Kelly

John F. Kennedy

Kim Dae-jung

Naomi Klein

Bruno Kreisky

Dennis Kucinich

Aung San Suu Kyi

Frances Moore Lappé

John Lewis

Li Zhaoxing

Abraham Lincoln

Rosa Luxemburg

Mairead Corrigan Maguire

General George Marshall

Koïchiro Matsuura

Federico Mayor

George Meany

Bill Moyers

A. J. Muste

Ralph Nader

Barack Obama

Frances Perkins

A. Philip Randolph

Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt

Jonathan Schell

Amartya Sen

George Bernard Shaw

Geroge Soros

Abdoulaye Wade

Mercy Otis Warren

Paul Wellstone

E. B. White

Terry Tempest Williams

Woodrow Wilson

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Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
Hero portraits are included for illustration purposes only - no celebrity endorsement implied

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