I love this time of year, when flags wave proudly across our nation, and communities come together to celebrate our country’s independence and freedom. Parades across America will pass through big cities and small towns, reminding us of the blessings of our liberty. I enjoyed reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s reflections on his Harvard commencement speech delivered in 1978, excerpted in the June issue of National Review, “Gradually another America began unfolding before my eyes, one that was small-town and robust, the heartland, the America I had envisioned as I was writing my speech, and to which my speech was addressed. I now felt a glimmer of hope that I could connect with this America, warn it of what we had experienced, and perhaps even lead it to change direction.” How poignant—and relevant—his words are even 40 years later. It’s so often the case that newcomers to America—who know what it’s like to live under oppressive regimes—appreciate freedom the most.
At the heart of liberty is the ability to make choices, and the hope of a free society is that informed citizens, when given the freedom to make decisions, will, by and large, choose paths that benefit themselves and their neighbors. The Bradley Impact Fund encourages principled philanthropy to bolster the essential building blocks of civil society and informed citizens. At the foundation are our schools, churches, nonprofits, and all the ways we join to support one another and build relationships at the local level so all Americans can live lives of freedom, choice, and fulfillment of potential.
As we highlight in this issue of our Bradley Impact Brief, school choice is an excellent example of giving citizens the ability to pick the educational option that best suits their children and their family. School choice uncouples quality education from economic status and gives all students the opportunity to achieve and to thrive. As you know, The Bradley Foundation was instrumental in the inception of the school choice movement. Through the Bradley Impact Fund, our donors know they are making the best investments in advancing this critical policy as well as schools who are changing whole communities through education.