The First Amendment Museum in Augusta invites you to participate in a mediated discussion via Zoom with high school students from your district through an all-new program called “RepresentME”.

The First Amendment Museum is a new, non-partisan museum in Augusta, Maine, whose mission is to promote the practice and understanding of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Our goal is to inspire communities in Maine and around the nation to live and love the five freedoms found in the First Amendment – religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. One of the ways we do this is through cooperative programming with civic and cultural organizations, schools, other museums, and universities.

“RepresentME” is a mediated discussion between a state representative and high school students in their district. The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity for representatives to hear what is important to the young people they represent while allowing students to hear how important their concerns are to their representatives.

We will work with teachers to help their students learn to ask meaningful questions that relate to their individual and community causes, concerns, ideologies, and demographics. The discussions will take place entirely online via scheduled Zoom interviews. The museum will share these interviews online, so that all communities across Maine can have access to them, helping a broader reach of the public see and hear their representatives in action. But the key factor to RepresentME is that the questions will be derived from the young people.

Though not named specifically in the First Amendment, voting is one of the most important forms of political free speech and expression we have. As activist Loung Ung said, “voting is not only our right – it is our power.” And indeed, the First Amendment protects many activities that are related to voting, such as expressing political views, signing petitions, and spending money to influence voters. We believe informed voters who are more involved with local politics, and candidates who are more in touch with the people they represent, will both be better prepared to work together to achieve their common goal of creating better communities.

The First Amendment Museum believes that every young Mainer should have the opportunity to meet their local representatives and we are committed to facilitating those meetings during the school year. By partnering with us, you can help make your community more aware of who their representative is and what you stand for, and you will have the opportunity to get to know your electorate better. Our larger goal is truly the goal of the First Amendment itself: to help Americans create a more perfect union.

Please let us know if you would like to participate in this program by emailing the First Amendment Museum at connect@firstamendmentmuseum.org