The George & Judy Marcus Democracy Praxis Fund
Supporting civil discourse in a divisive political climate
Praxis. There couldn’t be a more fitting word for a philanthropic endeavor that sustains America’s democratic principles. Like democracy, the word praxis has Greek roots, referring to the act of putting theory into practice. And it is the name of the fund created for the Miller Center by Greek-born George Marcus and his wife, Judy.
“Judy and I are proud to lend our support in these challenging times,” said Marcus, who founded Marcus & Millichap in Calabasas, California, one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in the United States. “Accurate information and real-time analysis provide a climate in which democracy can thrive. I applaud and support the Miller Center’s efforts around rebuilding public trust in our shared democratic institutions.”
The George and Judy Marcus Democracy Praxis Fund was established in December 2019 to help the Miller Center provide substantive, historical, and fact-based context directly to government officials and the public. In particular, Praxis funds support facilitating civil discourse on issues that matter, with voices from across the political spectrum.
Since then, Praxis dollars have been put toward a slew of media projects, including a documentary about George H. W. Bush that the Center co-produced with VPM. Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team originally aired nationally on PBS and is now available on Amazon Prime. For the film, the Praxis Fund financed the many interviews with former Bush officials and other policy experts.
Praxis also has helped bring dozens of events to the public, viewable on-demand, and has funded website enhancements that give current events the historical context for which the Miller Center is known.
Projects supported by the Praxis Fund
Project on Democracy and Capitalism
An in-depth exploration of the relationship between free-market economic systems and the execution of self-government
Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team
Available on Amazon Prime, this Miller Center/VPM documentary explores George H. W. Bush's consequential presidency
UVA Democracy Biennial 2021
In partnership with the Karsh Institute of Democracy, the Miller Center hosted two days of panel discussions about democracy in the United States and around the world
Russia's invasion of Ukraine (blog)
In this blog, experts from across the University of Virginia assess Russia's assault on European stability
The Democracy Dialogues series is produced by the UVA Karsh Institute of Democracy with the goal of strengthening democracy through civil debate
Events supported by the Praxis Fund
“Statecraft” experts panel
Ann Compton moderated a wide-ranging discussion about the Miller Center's documentary covering the braintrust of foreign policy advisors during the administration of George H. W. Bush
The Miller Center teamed up with the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition to look at first- and second-term administrations
Election 2020: What just happened?
On the day after the election, four Miller Center experts analyzed exit polling and state data
Election 2020 aftermath, part II
Turbulence, transition, or tranquility? William Antholis, Melody Barnes, Michael Gilbert, Sidney Milkis, and Janet Napolitano answered that question
Presidential transition in times of crisis
Michael Chertoff, David Marchick, and Janet Napolitano examined the importance of a peaceful and effective presidential transition
Can the president pardon himself?
When President Trump prepared to leave office, could he have given himself a presidential pardon? Experts discussed the legal arguments for and against
Biden inherits the COVID crisis
Health policy experts discussed how the then-new Biden administration planned to adjust the country’s response to the pandemic
Biden and the Supreme Court (2021)
In a prescient conversation, three Supreme Court experts examined the future of the high court under the Biden administration
Self-government in the age of disunion
In this Democracy Dialogues event, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) compared the roles of citizens and elected officials
U.S. homeland security advisor on domestic terrorism
In a Democracy Dialogues event, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall discussed the U.S. strategy for countering domestic terrorism with one of her predecessors Fran Townsend
Is democracy essential to U.S.-China relations?
In a Democracy Dialogues event, experts explored challenges to democratic values and institutions in the relationship with China
Where does the Ukraine war go from here?
At the one-month mark, experts questioned where the war might be heading and what the effects of a protracted conflict could be
Russian aggression: U.S. and NATO considerations
A panel of experts explored the effects on Europe of Russia’s profoundly destabilizing invasion of Ukraine
Social media vs. democracy
In this Democracy Dialogues event, Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) discussed how to regulate big tech without infringing on speech rights
Will the Ukraine war trigger a global financial crisis?
An expert panel assessed whether Russia is likely to experience an all-out crisis, and if so, how it might affect the European economy and global financial markets
Lehrer Lecture: Journalistic ethics in a time of crisis
In the inaugural James C. Lehrer Lecture, PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff described the role of ethical journalism in a democracy
Battling for democracy in Ukraine
Tom Perriello and Denver Riggleman debate the role of democracy and American foreign policy in Russia’s war in Ukraine, as part of UVA's Democracy Dialogues series of events