The American Purpose: A Web Series

The american purpose

A web series from Interfaith Alliance

In 1960, Henry Luce, publisher of Life Magazine, invited ten renowned Americans to address the “national purpose” in an essay. A change in national life was coming, and Luce turned to the people he believed could conduct a public discussion that would challenge Americans to common purpose again.

Sixty years later, we find ourselves at another consequential period in history that may be a once-in-a-lifetime for most. Within the context of the pandemic, racial justice uprisings, rising white nationalism, and a new presidential administration, Rabbi Moline asks the same questions that Henry Luce did – where are we headed, and where should we be headed? – in a new Interfaith Alliance web series, The American Purpose.

Pastor Mike McBride

Activist and director of Faith in Action’s Live Free campaign, Pastor Mike McBride explores how faith communities are leading the charge for equity.

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) discusses government responsibility during a pandemic and the promise of the pursuit of happiness.

Wajahat ali

Writer Wajahat Ali shares how an increasingly diverse, multicultural nation can find a common purpose in service of all Americans.

Blair imani

Historian and activist Blair Imani discusses how our nation’s history – and the experiences of historically marginalized communities – can and should inform our way forward.

Chely wright

Country music artist and activist Chely Wright discusses how her faith and experiences compel her to work toward justice.

Dr. Charles Davidson

Dr. Charles Davidson discusses his peacebuilding work at home and abroad, and how this reflects our national purpose.

Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas

Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas discuss how we can build on our founders’ view of our American purpose to create a better world.

Simran jeet singh

Educator and activist Simraan Jeet Singh discusses how we can become a more just nation that cares for and values one another.

Charlotte clymer

Veteran, activist, and Catholics for Choice communications director Charlotte Clymer shares her thoughts on where we are and where we’re headed as a nation.

Whit Ayres & Stan Greenberg

Pollsters Whit Ayres and Stan Greenberg discuss our nation’s founding principles and how we can draw from them to create a better, more just society.

Rabbi Rachel Ain

Rabbi Rachel Ain discusses how we can update our foundational principles to reflect our nation’s diverse reality.

Sen. Chris Coons

Senator Chris Coons explores how our values have shifted since our founding, and how our shared histories can inform the way forward.

rabbi sharon brous

Rabbi Sharon Brous discusses how her faith motivates her to work toward building a more just, more inclusive nation.

hemant mehta

Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist discusses the work non-religious people are doing to advance our first freedom.

Rev. bill haley

Rev. Bill Haley, executive director of Coracle, discusses faith, purpose, and our first freedoms.

jamie manson

Jamie Manson, president of Catholics for Choice, discusses why her faith calls her to advocate for reproductive freedom and more.

maggie siddiqi

Senior director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress Maggie Siddiqi discusses how we can pursue a collective vision of freedom. 

Bill kristol

Bill Kristol, director of Defending Democracy Together and editor-at-large of The Bulwark, talks with Rabbi Moline about our collective future.

Valerie brown

Valerie Brown, co-director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, explores the importance of community and our shared humanity. 

Tony beam

Rabbi Jack Moline speaks with Tony Beam, Christian radio host and director of church and community engagement at North Greenville University, on how we can ensure our nation’s founding principles remain protected and applied equally today.

rabbi shai held

Rabbi Jack Moline speaks with Rabbi Shai Held on how we can achieve the American promise of equality by creating a more caring society, and more.

Manjit singh

Manjit Singh, co-founder of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, discusses how we can ensure our founding values are applied equally.

dr. ted johnson

Brennan Center’s Dr. Ted Johnson speaks about the values needed to uphold a true liberal democracy.


It is time for a new cohort of observers to imagine the national purpose.
Join us every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. ET on Facebook Live as we explore our American purpose.