Allied Educational Foundation work is guided by five core principles introduced and supported by its founder, George Barasch. These principles guide the AEF educational framework and objectives for shaping public policy.
Samuel Gompers, the founder of the American Labor Movement, once noted that “education, properly conceived and directed, is the foundation not only of a more effective trade unionism, but also a better America.” It is this understanding that is vital. It is an undertaking that requires an educational effort of the whole person-in-growth – from adolescence through retirement. For education to be meaningful and effective, it must be a continuing and uninterrupted process of learning – learning from experience and contact, learning from questions and answers at conferences and seminars, as well as from books and the information media. It is important to remember too that of all the techniques for creating a livable society, education is the most effective tie for binding people together.
The Allied Educational Foundation has sponsored educational conferences at which some of the outstanding figures of our day have addressed themselves to the challenges and issues of our times. Among the speakers who have graced the Allied Educational Foundation podium during these past five decades have been President Gerald R. Ford, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Vice President Walter Mondale, Senators Mike Mansfield, Eugene McCarthy, and 19 other U.S. Senators, House Speaker Carl Albert, civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King, Roger Abernathy and James Farmer, and world-famous thinkers and journalists such as William Buckley, Max Lerner and Arthur Schlessinger, Jr. Not only did the messages they imparted serve to illuminate the horizon, but they also served in showing the better way at critical junctures when the democratic way was literally at the crossroads.
In committing ourselves to such a philosophy – we were determined to eschew the old, narrow and parochial approaches in favor of a pioneering venture that would be more dynamic and meaningful. We designed conferences to be set in an atmosphere of non-academic intellectuality within which the voices of America – leaders from every walk of life – might be heard and, beyond that, questioned. A reduction in distance between leaders of industry, government officials and the concerned public is essential to the democratic process.
These efforts also enable private individuals, industrial leaders, executives, veterans and senior citizens, to not only take part in public affairs but to talk as private citizens. The reduction in distance between such public officials including court justices and U.S. senators and the concerned public not only accords a sense of belonging and participation, but also contributes substantially to the dialogue and communication that are essential to the democratic process.
Everything that happens in the United States, such as tax reform, health problems, civil rights, crime, corruption, bureaucracy, war, high or low interest rates, cost of living, deflation and inflation, legislation, government operations, directly or indirectly, influences the livelihood of the average person…his relation to society and his place in society.
World issues and the American scene are constantly changing and require continuous education. The Allied Educational Foundation offers a unique opportunity to keep abreast of change.
So much power has been delegated to the news media under the interpretation of the First Amendment of the Constitution that the news media, in many instances, has become arrogant, defiant, destructive and untouchable. The right of each individual to the protection of his or her own reputation from unjustified invasion and malicious attack is fundamental. The First Amendment does not give journalists and bloggers an unrestricted license to attack and destroy.
It is estimated that less than five hundred men and women, out of a population of over 300 million, control the overwhelming majority of the means of communication in the United States. The realization that a handful of men and women control so much of the printed and electronic press is a chilling thought, not because they are evil, but because they have concentrated too much power over the people and the government that they have become invulnerable to criticism or confrontation because of their ability to reward, punish, glorify and crucify. The information media also is the playing field for a media market place that is projected to yield over $2 trillion dollars in marketing spend by 2019, most of which aims to influence the American public in one way or another.
Much can be done by each of us to prevent illness and maintain good health. It requires education and knowledge on how the body functions, what disturbances may occur, how they may be detected, what preventive measures can be taken, and how the physician functions in the prevention and treatment of illnesses. Our conferences that focus on health care always attract the interest of a large segment of the population. From young adulthood to retirement, there is always the opportunity to develop new interests and find new avenues of creativity with knowledge that activity itself is an essential ingredient of successful living at all stages of life. The key to all this is continuous and constant medical research and education to which this Foundation has pledged itself wholeheartedly.
Foundation conferences that focus on healthcare always educate, engage and entertain our attendees. Conference participants listen attentively to a wide range of professional lectures by eminent authorities on cardiovascular disease, circulatory obstructions, cancer, kidney ailments, digestive and urinary degeneration, emotional struggles and hundreds of other ailments that afflict the young and old alike.
Government officials must respect their oaths to uphold the Constitution; and we the people must be vigilant in seeing that they do. The Founders drafted an extraordinarily thoughtful plan of government, but it is up to us, to each generation, to preserve and protect it for ourselves and for future generations. For the Constitution will live only if it is alive in the hearts and minds of the American people. That, perhaps, is the most enduring lesson of our experiment in ordered liberty.
We look to an America whose citizens understand the true meaning of freedom. The freedom we cherish is a freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from oppression and freedom from injustice. We look to America to stand tall in the world, not only by virtue of its military might, but because it is the incarnation of human liberty, justice and honor. Dynamic and indivisible, America rests on the freedom to work out our own destiny according to the pattern of our own minds and the strength of our own dedication: freedom to help build a better world. This is the kind of America we want. This is the kind of America you want. It is the kind of America we can achieve if we are ready to meet any challenge as our veterans did, as our union members did, with high courage, moral resolution and constancy of purpose.