Amid pandemic & protests, there’s growing pessimism about democracy in America and around the world. So my interview with Nicole Bibbins Sedaca of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service was a tonic for hope. Across one decade at the U.S. State Department, and later at the International Republican Institute, she labored to promote democracy, human rights and religious freedom. As board chair of International Justice Mission, a Christian legal advocacy group that fights sex trafficking, she championed the work of faith groups in civil society. Based on faith and experience, Bibbins Sedaca believes democracies are best equipped to offer the possibility of societies protecting human dignity.

Bibbins Sedaca thinks even the present challenges in America ultimately can strengthen our democracy and showcase its advantages to peoples under repressive regimes. What dictators might now see as weakness in America can possibly subvert their regimes by illustrating how democracies more effectively handle dissent. But Bibbins Sedaca stresses that America will need to respond to current protests with substantive action if its witness to the world can be effective.

I hope this conversation is as encouraging to you as it was to me.