Every January, the President delivers a State of the Union address highlighting important issues from the past year and suggesting priorities for the coming year. It’s a broadcast from one to many. But democracy is a conversation, not a monologue. Understanding the state of our union takes We the People reflecting in our own communities on our challenges and opportunities locally, nationally, and globally.

For the past two years, the USDAC has hosted the People’s State of the Union as an invitation to supplement the President’s stories by coming together in our own homes, schools, houses of worship, and community organizations to share our own take on the state of our union. The USDAC offers toolkits and online trainings to support anyone in hosting a Story Circle, bringing neighbors together to share personal stories. Stories are uploaded online and then—inspired by these stories—a group of poets collaboratively composes the Poetic Address to the Nation, performed and broadcast live. More than 120 communities have taken part for each of the last two years.

Story Circles for the 2017 People's State of the Union will take place from January 27-February 5, 2017. Beginning in November, 2016, any individual or organization will be able to sign up to take part. When you sign up to host a Story Circle—whether it’s a few folks in your own kitchen or a dozen simultaneous circles in a high school gym—you’ll get a free Toolkit that explains absolutely everything you need to know to organize, promote, and pull off your event, plus online training and technical assistance. Be sure to join the mailing list to stay posted on the launch of #PSOTU2017.

watch videos from the 2015 & 2o16 People's State of the Union

explore #PSOTU2016

#psotu2016 story portal

Read stories for a current pulse on the state of our union. Add yours by sending an email to

explore #psotu2015

A PSOTU fireside chat with USDAC Deputy Secretary Norman Beckett.

The People’s State of the Union is just one of many USDAC National Actions intended to spark community dialogue and utilize creativity in the service of justice and democracy. To learn about future actions, please enlist as a Citizen Artist.