ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - School leaders with Tandem Friends School are hoping to get the community more involved in democracy.

At Piedmont Virginia Community College on Friday, March 8, was the first Tandem Speaks event, which featured a Gold Star father who shared his story hoping to inspire the community.

Hundreds came out Friday night as Gold Star father Khizr Khan took the stage to talk about the current state of the American democracy for a good cause.

Khan and fellow speaker Dahlia Lithwick shared their perspectives on the issues of social justice, human rights, and constitutional interpretation.

He also described his role as an immigrant from Pakistan that helped inspire him to pursue his passion for politics.

Khan says having open conversations about the issues American democracy faces is a step in the right direction for people in our country.

“When we talk about these issues, when we talk about these problems, that other nations have faced and how they have been inspired by American democracy, by our rule of law, by our experience, we can then begin to appreciate, begin to defend it, begin to preserve it, begin to make it better,” Khan said.

Khan also encouraged the crowd to get involved in the local election process.

Organizers say Friday night’s event was about getting the community engaged in the conversation.

Proceeds from the event will go toward Tandem Friends School.