Thirty-five years ago the world heard then-President Reagan’s enduring message that freedom is the inalienable and universal right of all human beings.
Since 1982, we have learned that freedoms are not to be taken for granted. We do not inherit them, rather they must be earned by every generation.
The National Endowment for Democracy has worked tirelessly since its founding to enable and empower heroic individuals around the world who are selflessly ‘earning’ societal freedoms at great personal peril.
By creating the independent National Endowment for Democracy, President Reagan has had a lasting impact on democracy promotion around the world.
And by annually funding the NED, and acknowledging the important grant making role of its staff and expert board, the US Congress is perpetuating the conviction that our own freedom is best earned by acknowledging and supporting the inalienable rights of all.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson is Co-Chair Carlson Holdings, LLC, and Secretary of the Board of Directors of National Endowment for Democracy.