Project YANO, JROTC, and Textbook Project; and Freedom House 2021 Report: Democracy Under Siege

Project YANO, JROTC, and Textbook Project

The Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or JROTC, is a federal program sponsored by the US Armed Forces in high schools and some middle schools across the nation and at US military bases globally. It currently teaches its lessons to more than half a million students in approximately 3,400 high schools nationwide.

In recent years, the military and its supporters have been promoting the idea of a significant increase in the number of high schools with JROTC”one proposal calls for expanding up to 6,000. Because of this, one nonprofit decided it was time to examine the textbooks used in JROTC classes to see what they are teaching.

The Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, or Project YANO, is a counter-recruitment organization founded in 1984 and based in San Diego country. It released its findings in early July. Their reviewers have backgrounds in classroom teaching or education activists, or special knowledge of subjects JROTC claims to address, such as civil rights, violence prevention, leadership methods, and world history. Team members included current and retired high school teachers, military veterans, and a documentary film producer.

Guest – Rick Jahnkow, a co-founder and board member of Project YANO. Rick worked for 34 years as the organizations full-time program coordinator. He has researched and organized around the issues of military recruiting, high school Jr. ROTC, and the general militarization of K-12 schools.


Freedom House 2021 Report: Democracy Under Siege

What if you could assign a grade to countries based on how free they are? Freedom House, a nonprofit organization founded in 1941, does just that. In 1973, it began using social science analysis methods to assess the level of freedom by nation, attaching a numerical score and ranking them as Free, Partly Free, or Not Free.

The report, known generally as Freedom in the World, has been called the Michelin Guide to democracys development and essential reading for policymakers and political leaders.

The 2021 report, Democracy Under Seige was written by Amy Slipowitz and Sarah Repucci. They noted that the pandemic, combined with economic and physical insecurity along with violent conflict, struck a heavy blow to defenders of democracy. It shifted the international balance in favor of tyranny.

Incumbent leaders, according to the report, increasingly resorted to force when dealing with opponents while beleaguered activists”lacking effective international support”faced heavy jail sentences, torture, or murder in many settings.

Guest – Sarah Repucci, Vice President of Research & Analysis at Freedom House. Sarah oversees Freedom Houses flagship publications Freedom in the World, Freedom on the Net, and Nations in Transit. She advises policymakers and business leaders on democracy and human rights around the world, and her commentary has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, the BBC, National Public Radio, Foreign Policy, and the Journal of Democracy. She previously worked for Transparency International and the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights, and as an independent consultant for several NGOs, and private businesses.

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