The first mission of the project is to recover speeches and make them accessible to students, educators, and those interested in the voices of U.S. political culture. The second mission is to provide educators with the resources they need to incorporate these speeches and debates into their classrooms. The third mission is to provide users a more expansive vision of democratic engagement and the history of political and cultural ideas in the United States.
As a speech recovery project, RDA is committed to collecting and digitizing seldom remembered speeches from U.S. citizens as well as international orators speaking in the United States. These speeches can derive from anti-war movements, civil rights movements, educational movements, environmental movements, GLBTQ movements, labor movements, religious movements, women’s movements, and other social change and social resistance movements. The project will also feature oratory from political and community leaders whose speeches are seldom remembered in U.S. history, as well as lesser-known speeches of celebrated orators. RDA recovers and authenticates these speeches to make them widely accessible through this open sourced website. RDA also provides important contextual information about each speech. When paired with the project’s teaching-learning materials, RDA offers a unique resource for high school and university educators to incorporate speeches into the classroom in meaningful and innovative ways.