Participants of the nine-day International Young Leaders Assembly joined university students and young professionals at National Constitution Center in historic Philadelphia for a program, “Global Significance of U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution,” on August 23.
The forum examined the principles and values that led to the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and framing of the U.S. Constitution and featured former Mayor of Philadelphia Wilson Goode; Rebecca Mays, Director of the Dialogue Institute; and Kevin McCarthy, Director of Education, Global Peace Foundation USA.
Speakers noted the significant emphasize that the Founding Fathers placed on personal responsibility in a self-governing republic. The key principle of the Declaration—that “all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—affirmed that human equality and fundamental rights are not conferred by government but by the Creator, presenters said.
Participants also visited Independence Hall, where the Declaration and Constitution were drafted and signed, and other historic landmarks.
The IYLA convened at the United Nations in New York on August 22 and will host forums at the U.S. Capitol and World Bank in Washington on August 26 and 27.