In Focus: Reimagining America

A new year brings a new administration, and Americans might breathe a sigh of relief that democracy prevailed in the face of a deadly insurrection. Unfortunately, the challenges still to overcome remain as urgent as ever. Vaccine rollouts offer reasons for hope, yet COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and communities. Racism remains an open wound in our society. And far from settling the debate on what it means to be an American, the past election cycle has further exposed deep fissures in our politics and our identities. Calls to come together, however heartfelt, are only the first in a long line of steps towards reconciliation.

Progress is possible. In the first 2021 installment of In Focus, the Aspen Institute looks forward to solutions for today and tomorrow. How can we get help to those who need it now? What systemic fixes are needed to mend our ailing institutions? More fundamentally, how do we reach a consensus on what it means to be an American, or what America’s place in the world should be? And what are the responsibilities of our elected officials, our private sector, and leaders in our own communities to make this change happen?

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