Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund
Research & Events

At the Bridge: 2015 Congressional Pilgrimage

The Institute will bring members of Congress, their staff, and national leaders together for dynamic experiences, such as the historic pilgrimage for the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, which help build bonds outside the context of partisan disagreements.


On March 7th, 2015 at the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama a congressional delegation of nearly 100 and thousands of people marked the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. The delegation followed the path of history, retracing the route of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery and included President Obama, Congressional John Lewis, and the Faith and Politics Institute, a Democracy Fund grantee. The participants on this trip came with a range of experiences – some were Civil Rights Leaders, some struggled in their own communities, while some were too young to remember this tumultuous period of American history. Traveling the path and reliving the history offered new meaning and insight into the enormity of the achievements of the Civil Rights Movement in securing the right to vote for so many Americans. We believe that remaining vigilant in protecting our democratic freedoms requires honoring the memory of dark events like Bloody Sunday. Check out a reflective blog post by Program Director Betsy Wright Hawkings here.


Faith leaders play a special role in the public life of our nation, holding unique moral authority that can influence how we talk about issues of key concern and think about the moral consequences of our actions. Faith leaders also lead lead institutions that represent millions of Americans who look to them for guidance about how to think about challenging topics and to engage in the broader community. We hope that faith leaders can leverage their unique positions in order to play a positive role to improve the quality of our nation’s political discourse.