Events

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May 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

May 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

Strong Support for Civic Education on Display in May

Civics Secures Democracy Act on Cusp of Reintroduction

Inside this newsletter:
• State Spotlights
• May Weeks of Action Recap
• New Coalition Members

We Can’t Wait: Educating Students for American Democracy

We Can’t Wait: Educating Students for American Democracy

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET

Elementary and middle school leaders are reclaiming the civic mission of schooling through the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap. Come explore how this work is taking shape inside and outside of the classroom and how your school can engage!

The participant will:

  • Learn about the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap (what it is, who developed it, why it was deployed)
  • Learn strategies and resources your school can leverage to center an inquiry-based approach to history and civics in elementary and middle grades.
  • Learn how this work builds into existing best practices in elementary and middle education.
  • Familiarize yourself with strategies to engage students in your school in preparing for successful participation in our democracy.

 

Civics Advocacy Week: CivXNow Advocacy Toolkit Office Hours

Civics Advocacy Week: CivXNow Advocacy Toolkit Office Hours

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | 02:00 PM Eastern
Open office hours with the CivXNow team to learn about our resources to support advocating for civic education during Civics Policy & Advocacy Week (May 16-20). We’ll answer questions about our toolkit including how to use the bill tracker, email/phone scripts for contacting elected officials, and policy menu, as well as discuss strategies for mobilizing our networks in support of civics.

 

Civic Literacy: More Important than Ever in a Digital World

Civic Literacy: More Important than Ever in a Digital World

Thursday, May 12, 2022 | 3:30 PM Central

#Civics4CommUNITY Awareness Week

Join inquirED and the National Council for the Social Studies for a special webinar with Sam Wineburg as part of #Civics4CommUNITY Awareness Week.

wineburg

Civic Literacy: More Important than Ever in a Digital World

With special guest Sam Wineburg (Founder & Executive Director, Stanford History Education Group).

We are flooded by conflicting messages every time we turn on our laptop. How do we prepare our students to cope with this complexity? Join us as we explore conflicting narratives about historical events, and how we can use them to teach our students to think clearly and critically.


Our communities need civic education more than ever. This week we join other partners in the CivXNow Coalition #Civics4CommUNITY Awareness Week because we know that civic education is essential to the health and strength of our constitutional democracy!

April 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

April 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

Updates on Our Shared Work to Advocate for Civic Education

Appreciating our Teachers, the Foremost Guardians of our Constitutional Democracy

Inside this newsletter:
• Educators Advocate for Civics
• May Weeks of Action
• Upcoming Events
• April Events Recap
• New Coalition Members

 

STATE OF CIVICS: UTAH

STATE OF CIVICS: UTAH

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 2:00p.m. – 3:15p.m. Eastern

Hosted by: The Reagan Institute

A virtual panel featuring Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Sydnee Dickson, and other notable education leaders in Utah. Please join The Reagan Institute on April 26th at 2PM ET for “The State of Civics: Utah.”

Moderated by Dr. Janet Tran, Director of the Center for Civics, Education, and Opportunity, this virtual conversation will highlight the exemplary civic education initiatives of Utah. Utah’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Sydnee Dickson, and other notable education leaders will discuss their current efforts and experiences that lift civics in Utah’s schools. Utah is the sixth state in the “State of Civics” series hosted by the Reagan Institute.

The aim of this series is to better understand the current state policy environment for civic learning and engagement across the country. Civic learning not only supports academic achievement and 21st Century workforce skills but serves as a key to strengthening our democratic republic.

History and Civics Accessibility as a Practical Civil Right

History and Civics Accessibility as a Practical Civil Right

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern

Access to high quality civics and history education is increasingly seen as a civil right, one that should be afforded to all students, including those with disabilities and those learning English as a second language. Join presenters Rich Cairn (Emerging America), Kimberly Eckert (2018 Louisiana Teacher of the Year), and Leslie Villegas (New America) as they outline how to translate this right from theory to practical reality. Co-hosted by CivXNow and Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA).

Civic Education: An Effective Way to Strengthen Our Democracy

Civic Education: An Effective Way to Strengthen Our Democracy

Thursday, April 14, 2022 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern

This event is hosted by Business for America and CivXNow.

Elevating the importance of civics education in the US can be a clear bipartisan solution to polarization. Learn how business can support.
While support for democracy as a concept remains high in the United States, an increasing number of Americans are open to nondemocratic alternatives. Polarization has led to distrust of democratic institutions, unrest in many places of work and an erosion of civic values and norms. All of this fuels further politicization and polarization. Contributing to these challenges is a significant lack of understanding on the part of many Americans about how government works, the separation of constitutional powers or what’s included within the Bill of Rights.

A more informed and engaged citizenry contributes to stronger democratic institutions, which leads to more solid and sustainable economic outcomes. This in turn helps to reduce market and political instability. Conversely, continued neglect of civic education will continue to weaken the nation’s civic and economic strength. The interdependency of a free market and constitutional democracy makes instability a serious threat to economic prosperity, putting at risk businesses and employees, as well as supply chains and investments. The more informed the public is about civics, the less likely people are to invest in conspiracies and accept dis and mis-information.

What is the Civics Secures Democracy Act?

The congressional bipartisan Civics Secures Democracy (CSD) Act would authorize $1 billion annually over five years, primarily to states and school districts. It also provides competitive grants to qualifying institutions of higher education, nonprofits, and researchers in their respective roles in advancing high-quality civics and history education in elementary and secondary schools.

Filed by Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) in the House, and Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Cornyn (R-TX) in the Senate, the bill has more than a dozen bipartisan cosponsors.

Learn how your business can support passage of this important legislation.

Speakers:

Jerry Zimmerman, SVP & Deputy General Counsel, Government & Industry Relations, Allstate Corporation

Chuck Dunlap, President & CEO, Indiana Bar Foundation

Louise Dubé, Executive Director, iCivics

Civic Language Perceptions Project: Deep Dive on the Impact of Civic Education

Civic Language Perceptions Project: Deep Dive on the Impact of Civic Education

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern

This event is hosted by PACE, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars, Generation Citizen, and CivXNow.

PACE’s Civic Language Perceptions Project seeks to understand peoples’ perceptions of the language associated with “civic engagement and democracy” work. At best, are we talking past each other? At worst, are we furthering divisions and/or disengagement? In 2019, PACE took its first steps of exploration on this topic; since then, the world has changed, the need to understand has grown, and the questions about what we do have become more urgent. In partnership with Citizen Data, the Rita Allen Foundation, and the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, PACE fielded a nationally representative survey in November 2021 to poll 21 terms commonly used in “civic engagement and democracy” work and to understand how people perceive and associate them. PACE released the data on March 23, 2022, which is fully accessible at www.PACEFunders.org/Language.

For additional depth, survey participants were asked whether they recall taking civic education classes, which means we can look to explore the relationship between civic education background and perceptions and associations of “civic engagement and democracy” language.

Join us on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 from 3-4pm Eastern for an overview of the project and a deep dive on the impact of civic education on the language of democracy.

March 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

March 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

A Busy March for CivXNow: Month in Review

Updates on Our Work to Advocate for Civic Education

Inside this newsletter:
• Announcing State Affiliate Grant Recipients
• March All Member Meeting Recap
• Civic Learning Week in Review
• Research Roundup
• New Coalition Members

February 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

February 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

CSD and Coalition Updates

Garnering Support for the Civics Secures Democracy Act & Coalition Updates

Inside this newsletter:

• Call to Action: Civics Secures Democracy Act
• Check Out What’s New at CivXNow.org
• Economic Stability Requires Robust Civic Education
• Welcoming New Members to the CivXNow Advisory Council
• March 10 All-Member Meeting
• New Coalition Members

 

CSD Advocacy Toolkit Launch

CSD Advocacy Toolkit Launch

Thursday, February 10th, 2022 | 2:00–3:00pm ET

In preparation for the impending reintroduction of the Civics Secures Democracy (CSD) Act, please register to join us for our CSD Advocacy Toolkit Launch. You’ll get a demo of these exciting new resources just added to our website to support bill tracking and advocacy efforts.

January 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

January 2022 CivXNow Newsletter

CivXNow News: State RFP, On-Demand Webinar, New CSD Toolkit, & More

Kicking Off the New Year with Strong Momentum for Civic Education

Inside this newsletter:

• Event Recap: Civic Education Webinar
• CSD Advocacy Toolkit Launch
• State Grant RFP: Deadline to Apply Jan. 28
• Preserving Democracy Documentary
• Civic Engagement Research
• Member Survey Results
• New Coalition Members

STATE OF CIVICS: Georgia

STATE OF CIVICS: Georgia

Wednesday, January 26th, 2022 | 2:00pm ET- 3:15pm ET
Hosted by: The Reagan Institute

A virtual panel featuring Georgia’s State School Superintendent, Richard Woods, CEO of the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement, Dr. Randell Trammell, and other notable education leaders.

Please join The Reagan Institute on January 26th at 2PM ET for “The State of Civics: Georgia.” Moderated by Dr. Janet Tran, Director of the Center for Civics, Education, and Opportunity, this virtual conversation will highlight the exemplary civic education initiatives of Georgia. Georgia’s State School Superintendent, Richard Woods, CEO of the Georgia Center for Civic Engagement, Dr. Randell Trammell, and other notable education leaders will discuss their current efforts and experiences that lift civics in Georgia’s schools.

Georgia is the fifth state in the “State of Civics” series hosted by the Reagan Institute. The aim of this series is to better understand the current state policy environment for civic learning and engagement across the country. Civic learning not only supports academic achievement and 21st Century workforce skills but serves as a key to strengthening our democratic republic.

LIVE STREAM: Civics Education as a National Security Priority

LIVE STREAM: Civics Education as a National Security Priority

Monday, January 24th, 2022 | 12:00 PM PST/ 3:00 PM EST

Hosted by: The Commonwealth Club of California

With deep political divides dominating America’s civic culture and affecting how the U.S. is viewed abroad, civics education is increasingly being seen as a national security issue. Improving K-12 students’ understanding of America’s civic structures—from the Constitution to voting, to clarity about our national security institutions and how they operate within the rule of law—is being seen by national leaders as a way to strengthen the role of the U.S in the world, and to protect the country’s national interests.  Similar to the push for STEM education funding to address America’s global role in science and technology, many officials now support expanded funding for civics and history education as a way to improve student learning about their civic responsibilities in our participatory democracy.

 

REGISTER HERE

 

SPEAKERS:
  • Suzanne Spaulding, Senior Adviser, Homeland Security, International Security Program
  • Millie Solomon, President, The Hasting Center
  • Shawn Healy, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, iCivics

The program is part of the Commonwealth Club’s Creating Citizens initiative.

This is an online-only program; pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream video.

 

Civic Education: Essential for Sustaining U.S. Democracy Webinar

Civic Education: Essential for Sustaining U.S. Democracy Webinar

Friday, January 21, 2022 | 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET

Co-hosted by: CEE and CivXNow

Join the CivXNow Coalition and The Center for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University for a jointly hosted webinar featuring four of the country’s leading civic education scholars and researchers. Panelists summarized the latest research findings on the links between civic education and civic engagement later in life, and discussed the critical role that civic education must play at this time in sustaining our democracy.

 

ON-DEMAND RECORDING

 

Panelists:
David E. Campbell, Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy, University of Notre Dame
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Newhouse Director, Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, of CIRCLE, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University
Meira Levinson, Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society, Harvard University
Jane C. Lo, Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University.

Moderated by: Rashid Duroseau, Civics Program Director for Democracy Prep Public Schools

December 2021 CivXNow Coalition Update

December 2021 CivXNow Coalition Update

CivXNow Grant Opportunity, Webinar, and Member Survey

Looking Ahead to the New Year

Inside this update:

• State Grant RFP: Deadline to Apply Jan. 28
• Civic Education Webinar: Jan. 21
• Member Survey

Apply Today!  State Coalition Request For Proposals (RFP): Up to $20,000 per Grant Award

Apply Today! State Coalition Request For Proposals (RFP): Up to $20,000 per Grant Award

CivXNow works with and supports coalitions and entities operating within a state that are committed to including the broad diversity mirroring one’s state in the development of meaningful, bipartisan civic learning policy and practice improvements consistent with the recommendations outlined in the CivXNow Policy Menu. We believe that work at the state-level needs to be driven by state actors — such as the successes in Massachusetts and Indiana — and that a national organization’s best role is to facilitate and support their work so local advocates can drive the policy solutions that best represent their state.

To assist state-level coalitions/task forces in their coalition-building and policy work, CivXNow is opening our second Request for Proposal grantmaking process (RFP). Applicants have the opportunity to submit an application requesting up to $20,000 through CivXNow, a project of iCivics. The deadline to apply is January 28, 2022 by 4pm ET.

 

APPLY TODAY

 

State Coalition Grant Opportunity FAQ

This is the moment to rebuild the nation’s civic strength. We need to invest in civic education. CivXNow seeks proposals from state-level civic learning coalitions to help support their coalition work and accelerate their policy progress.

 

How can I apply?

When can I apply?

  • The RFP is now open. Application deadline is Friday, January 28, 2022 at 4pm EST.

When will grant applicants be notified of funding decisions?

  • Grant applicants will be notified of funding decisions by Friday, February 25, 2022.

How much funding can our coalition request?

  • Grant applicants can apply for up to $20,000 in funding. Indirect costs may not exceed 5% of total funding requested.

How can we use the funding?

  • Funding provided through this program can only be used to support coalition expenses, including the following: (a) meeting and event expenses; (b) surveys, research, and reports; (c) portion of staff time for leadership of a state coalition; (d) printing and communications; (e) direct mailings; (f) website expenses directly related to the work of the state coalition; and (g) PR and/or social media expenses directly related to work of state coalition. Funds may not be used to fund or reimburse a lobbyist, any political purpose or any expenses not directly related to a state coalition working to change/improve state policies and/or practice in K-12 civic learning aligned with CivXNow State Policy Menu.

When does the grant period end?

  • Grant recipients must spend the funding and meet the deliverables outlined in their proposal and the grant agreement by January 1, 2023. 

Who can apply?

  • To be eligible for this grant opportunity, applying state-level coalitions/task forces must be a member in good standing of the CivXNow State Policy Task Force, be an official CivXNow state coalition affiliate, and identify a 501(c)(3) lead applicant/fiduciary entity to apply for/receive the grant. To become a CivXNow State Policy Task Force member and/or CivXNow state coalition affiliate, please contact Abbie Kaplan.

What documents do I need to apply?

  • Applicants need to submit contact information for the state-level coalition and applying institution, coalition membership list including names and contact information, coalition future recruitment plan and timeline, list of policymakers with whom you work or plan to work, description of your coalition goals over the next two-three years, strategies you will employ to achieve those goals, description of the conditions in your state that will make it likely you can achieve your goals, description of the challenges you may face in achieving your goals, a project budget, and a list of potential in-state matching funds. If helpful, the application questions can be viewed here, however applications must be submitted via the RFP form.

How will funding decisions be determined?

Proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  • Likelihood that funding will accelerate progress toward sustainable civic education policy results in your state.
  • Level of inclusion, participation and engagement of all coalition stakeholders. 
  • Coalition membership and engagement reflecting the broad diversity of your state (rural, urban, perspective, race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability, etc.) and/or an actionable plan that illustrates how your coalition or task force plans to develop an engaged coalition representing the broad diversity of your state.
  • In addition to the overall quality of the proposal, priority will be given to applicants who have or will commit to raising some level of in-state matching funds. 
  • Proposals will be evaluated by a review committee comprised of CivXNow policy leadership, as well as civic education and state policy experts. CivXNow will publish the list of review committee members as soon as committee membership is confirmed. 
  • Members of the review committee will be required to recuse themselves from reviewing or evaluating any applications that include an organization or entity for which they are employed or have a fiduciary or managerial responsibility.
  • Final grant determinations will be made by iCivics leadership based on recommendations from the review committee. 

Will I have to report to anyone on the grant progress?

  • Grant recipients are required to submit a financial report describing how funds were used during the grant period, as well as a narrative report demonstrating how the grant helped advance the state-level work to iCivics by February 1, 2023.

Who is providing funding for these grants?

  • Funding will be distributed by iCivics, and recipients will sign a grant agreement with iCivics (the parent organization of CivXNow). Funding for these grants was made possible through a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Who do I contact with questions?

November 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

November 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Advances in Civic Education + Planning for 2022

Why We Advocate for Civic Education

Inside this newsletter:

• Girl Scouts CEO Reflects on Civics
• Highlights from State Grant Recipients
• Recap of Our Member Meeting
• Member Survey
• New Coalition Members

November 18, 2021: CivXNow All-member Meeting

November 18, 2021: CivXNow All-member Meeting

2021 has been an eventful year for civic education. We’ve seen great strides in advancing a vision of civics to unify our coalition and also our share of collective challenges. Please join us for this November end of the year meeting of the coalition as we share updates and strategize our course and goals for 2022.

Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 1pm ET

Register here

Please find the agenda here and be in touch with Ace Parsi, ace.parsi@icivics.org, if you have questions.

October 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

October 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Civics Roundup: Policy, Research & Case Studies

An update on the Civics Secures Democracy Act.

Inside this newsletter:

  • CSD update
  • How Private Foundations can Support Civic Education
  • Introducing Abbie Kaplan
  • Research: Civic Education in Highly Partisan Times
  • New members
September 21-22, 2021: CivXNow Policy Summit

September 21-22, 2021: CivXNow Policy Summit

Growing bipartisan consensus recognizes that civic education, equitably-delivered, is a critical component of rebuilding the civic strength of our country. To improve and strengthen civic education, state policies must be aligned to this goal. View policy sessions bringing together current and former members of Congress, state governors and policymakers, education leaders, philanthropists, and historians discussing how to shape state and federal policy to provide high-quality civic education for all K-12 students in the United States.

 

View On-demand Recording

September 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

September 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

A Recap of Last Week’s Policy Summit

Inaugural CivXNow Policy Summit illuminates a unified path for stronger K–12 civics.

Inside this newsletter:

  • Policy Summit recap
  • Publication of revised State Policy Menu
  • CSD Act reintroduction coming
  • New members
August 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

August 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Advocacy Continues for Civic Education

August, a month for advocacy on behalf of the Civics Secures Democracy Act.

Inside this newsletter:

  • CSD Advocacy Month
  • Policy Summit save the date
  • State spotlights: OR and RI
  • ECYF final projects 
  • New members
August 2021 CivXNow Coalition Update

August 2021 CivXNow Coalition Update

An important advocacy push.

July 2021 CivXNow Coalition Update

July 2021 CivXNow Coalition Update

June 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

June 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Civics Legislation Updates & Opportunities to Participate

Civics in the spotlight throughout spring state legislative sessions.

Inside this newsletter:

  • State bills and CRT
  • Policy Summit STD
  • State Policy Menu revision
  • Advocacy Month recap
May 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

May 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Gaining Momentum for the Civics Secures Democracy Act

Doing civics for civics.

Inside this newsletter:

  • Introducing Shawn’s monthly column
  • CSD Advocacy Month recap
  • YMCA student ambassador program
  • ActiVote partnership
  • Policy Team Coordinator job opening
  • New coalition members 
April 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

April 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

A Shout Out to Teachers on the Front Lines of Civic Education

Civics teachers are guardians of our constitutional democracy.

Inside this newsletter:

  • Teacher Appreciation Month – teachers are the guardians of our constitutional democracy
  • Building bipartisan support for CSD
  • IN bill becomes law
  • CivXNow State Policy Menu revision
  • New coalition members
March 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

March 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Advancing Civic Education with 2 Landmark Initiatives

Momentum Gaining for Civic Education

Inside this newsletter:

  • Gaining momentum for civics – EAD and CSD
  • EAD National Forum recap
  • CSD refiled
  • CivXNow State Coalition regrants
  • ECYF letter to Sec Cardona
  • New coalition members

 

February 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

February 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Updates on Civic Education Legislation, Youth Voice, and More

Your support for the Educating for Democracy Act will be needed soon.

Inside this newsletter:

  • Momentum for civics in the states
  • Indiana bill
  • EAD National Forum registration
  • #CivicsForUs – student voice at scale
  • ECYF fireside chats
  • New coalition members
January 28, 2021: Educating for American Democracy

January 28, 2021: Educating for American Democracy

Listen to the EAD Webinar

You’ve heard about it, but what is Educating for American Democracy (EAD)? Listen to the free CivXNow webinar featuring Dr. Danielle Allen of Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and be among the first to hear about the EAD initiative and how you can get involved.

EAD is a cross-ideological collaboration among over 300 academics, historians, political scientists, K-12 educators, district and state administrators, civics providers, students, and others from across the country to create a roadmap for integrated, in-depth, inquiry-based history and civic education for the 21st century.

Denouncing The Assault On Our Capitol

Denouncing The Assault On Our Capitol

January 6, 2021 is a day that will live in infamy. The violence visited upon the U.S. Capitol—the very building that symbolizes our constitutional democracy—is further evidence of the fragility of our democracy. This was an insurrection by an angry mob, incited by the current President and other elected leaders determined to thwart the democratic process. They did not succeed and our institutions held.

The leadership of the CivXNow Coalition unites in condemning the insurrection and urges all citizens and leaders to do the same.

This moment is shameful, yet it provides an opportunity. Shameful that leadersincluding losing candidates and enablers—instigated a rampage to stop a constitutionally mandated act of Congress. But an opportunity to strengthen our civic system going forward.

Young people are eager to become part of our 245-year experiment in self-government. But in order to do so, we need to ensure that the civic mission of schools remains at the heart of education. All students must be provided excellent in-depth civic education that equips them with the tools to address the challenges before our nation today from misinformation and polarization to racial injustice. That will require an honest accounting of all aspects of our history—the tremendous ideals espoused in our founding documents along with the ugly failures —so that all students can hear the voices of those who have not traditionally been featured in history books. Civic education is the path toward a constitutional democracy that reflects the very ideals we aspire to: equality and justice.

So, today, as the leadership of the Coalition, we rededicate ourselves to protecting our constitutional democracy by investing in its young people. We must emerge from these dark days with a hopeful determination to right our ship of state. That is what our constitutional democracy demands.

 

“Civic education is the only way for America to maintain its democracy in a legitimate way.”

May-Ya Nguyen, 10th grader, New Jersey

January 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

January 2021 CivXNow Newsletter

Civic Education: What to read, watch, and do this month

Help us advocate for civic education in 2021!

Inside this newsletter:

  • Prioritizing STEM over Civics is a Bad Idea
  • State Coalition RFP
  • EAD Webinars
  • Illinois Report
  • How to Educate a Citizen Book Review
  • New Coalition Members
November 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

November 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

Moving forward after the election to build a stronger constitutional democracy.
Inside this newsletter:

  • Teachers as the Guardians of Our Democracy
  • Equity Whitepaper
  • CivXNow Federal Policy Agenda
  • California Civic Seal
  • New Coalition Members
October 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

October 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

Celebrate Media Literacy Week October 26th through 30th!
Inside this newsletter:

  • Media Literacy Week
  • Member Spotlight – Girl Scouts of the USA Take a Bigger Role within CivXNow
  • Bipartisan $1 Billion Federal Bill for Civics
  • CivXNow Job Opportunity – Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy
  • CivXNow is Growing – New Coalition Members
  • Students as Advocates for Civic Education – Student Summit
October 20, 2020: CivXNow Open Forum: Equity in Civic Education

October 20, 2020: CivXNow Open Forum: Equity in Civic Education

CivXNow Open Forum: Equity in Civic Education

Tuesday, October 20th | 5-6:15pm ET

Where are the opportunities to actively pursue equity in our organizations and the field? During these historic times we are being called by our constituents to engage in creative solutions that help us tackle the realities today’s students are facing in the classroom and beyond. Realizing that many of us sit somewhere along the continuum from how to successfully implement equity in civics programming to understanding what equity in civics means to your organization, CivXNow is facilitating space to explore this critical issue as a field. We don’t have all the answers but will share some insights from the Equity in Civics Steering Committee; a project supported by the Hewlett Foundation and in partnership with Generation Citizen, which has been focused on equity over the past year.

Join Verneé Green of Mikva Challenge, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg of CIRCLE, and Andrew Wilkes of Generation Citizen and moderator Amber Coleman-Mortley of iCivics for a collaborative discussion. This is not a panel; rather an exchange between organizations. Guests are encouraged to bring their success stories, burning questions, insights, and expertise to the event.

Help shape the conversation by letting us know what steps your organization is taking to address both internal and external diversity, equity, and inclusion by filling out the brief survey here.

October 6, 2020: Student Summit on Civics

October 6, 2020: Student Summit on Civics

Listen to the Student Summit on Civics

Commonwealth Club, in partnership with CivXNow, presented a webinar highlighting the need for student voice and civic education during these unprecedented times. Join 2020 Equity in Civics Youth Fellows A’Niya Bankston (CA), Matthew Green (PA), Marcus McNeill (MA), and Viren Mehta (CA) for a student-led discussion on the issues that are most important to this generation and their solutions moving forward moderated by journalist Moriah Balingit of The Washington Post.

September 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

September 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

Americans Believe Civics is THE Solution to What Ails Our Democracy
Inside this newsletter:

  • Bipartisan $1 Billion Bill for Civics – Thank You and We Need More Support!
  • 2020-2021 Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship Application Open
  • Advocating for Civics During Pandemic and State Budget Crunches
  • Mark Your Calendar – Upcoming Events
  • Ways to Get Involved – Election Resources and Volunteering
September 17, 2020: Meeting the Moment - Renewing Democracy through Civic Learning

September 17, 2020: Meeting the Moment - Renewing Democracy through Civic Learning

Listen to the Meeting the Moment lecture

New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education, in partnership with the Warren B. Rudman Center at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, presented a William W. Treat Lecture to celebrate Constitution Day featuring CivXNow Advisory Council members, Louise Dube and Ted McConnell.

August 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

August 2020 CivXNow Newsletter

Forging a Path Toward Equity
Inside this newsletter:

  • 2020-2021 Youth Fellowship Application is Open!
  • When Students Need Civics Most, Civics NAEP to be Postponed
  • Member Spotlight – Commonwealth Club’s Focus on K-12 Civic Engagement
  • Upcoming Events – Constitution Day and Student Summit on Civics
  • New Coalition Members
  • Utah Civic Engagement Pilot Program Becomes Law
An Open Letter to the CivXNow Coalition - Civic Education & Racial Justice: The Work We Need To Do

An Open Letter to the CivXNow Coalition - Civic Education & Racial Justice: The Work We Need To Do

Often, the answer to the question, “What is the purpose of civic education?” is focused on teaching the fundamentals of our constitutional democracy so that more of our citizens understand our system of governance, vote, commit to community service, and engage in local politics. These are important tenets of civics.

The moment at hand – as millions of Americans have raised their voices in outcry against racial inequities, institutional racism, and incidents of racist attacks that have pervaded this country since its beginnings – is a stark reminder that civic engagement is also a manifestation of our commitment to self-governance. Sometimes the voice of the people is best heard when people are joined together. As a result of the protests, in short order, we are beginning to see movement toward change; some of us are among those trying to make change as part of the gathered people.

As the Advisory Council of CivXNow, we are writing this open letter, urging that now is the time that we as a Coalition should listen to that voice and lift it up where it already speaks from among us. 

Protests can be traced back to our nation’s founding, and are often the most vivid evidence that it is the people who ultimately govern. Today, peaceful protestors who have taken to the public square in every corner of our country in the aftermath of yet another police killing of a Black man, George Floyd, are shouting in the streets that we must take more seriously our commitment to equality and justice, and to addressing systemic, particularly anti-Black, racism. 

CivXNow – a community of over 120 organizations – is dedicated to prioritizing and improving civic education. The signers of this letter believe that we can, and we must, do better to integrate racial equity into our work. We must lift up voices from communities of color to learn more about the disjuncture between civic education as it is traditionally taught and the realities experienced by students of color every day – and we are urging other members of the Coalition to add their names to this.     

Individually our members have released dozens of statements condemning recent police violence, supporting legislation on police reform, standing in solidarity with the Black community, calling for action and an end to racism in our democracy – and for changing the way we teach civics to layer important historical context. We invite you to add your organization’s statements to this list. Please email Patricia Leslie-Brown links to your statements if you would like to add yours.

But now cannot simply be a time for making statements. This moment should propel us to build better civic education moving forward. This does not necessarily mean a wholesale change. Civic education includes civic knowledge, the skills to engage in the civitas, the dispositions to engage with diverse viewpoints, and the agency to take action. Yet civic educators must also dig deeper, and teach with more depth and nuance so that students can grasp the racist patterns in our history, develop the breadth of moral vision necessary to overcome them, and be motivated to act. We must make a commitment to tell the full and complex story of our republic – including how racism has manifested itself in the work of our institutions – so that students can learn how to recognize racism today, and become advocates proactively working against anti-Black racism. This is a moral imperative.    

Civic education must teach about our country’s ideals of equality and justice – about when this country has pursued those ideals with integrity and when it has failed to live up to them – because as students of history, we know that justice will not come without the people demanding it. 

The success of our Coalition’s work will depend on collective and individual efforts. Many of our member organizations have indicated that they need to revisit core elements of their work to address racism. We urge every organization in the Coalition to continue conversations about race, and to consider taking urgent steps to help all our nation’s young people understand the historical and continuing impact of systemic racism and also to acquire the tools, skills, and moral vision to overcome it. 

Over the past year and a half, a diverse group has been grappling with the issue of equity in civics through a Hewlett Foundation funded Equity in Civics grant co-facilitated by Generation Citizen and iCivics. Over 30 people have been engaged with this work so far, including many members of the CivXNow Coalition. The goal of the project is to advance the issue of racial justice in the field of civic education. We will publish our results this Fall. Never has the success of that work been more critical. We recognize that this is only a first step of a larger process of change that must happen throughout the field. 

We do not have all of the answers within the civic education field, and we must continue on the path of learning and discovery. This is only the beginning. The commitment of the Coalition – in its own work – is to a process of listening, learning, and action.

For instance: 

  • Equity is at the heart of the CivXNow Policy Menu. In it, we call for states, districts, and schools to establish strategies such as including civics in state accountability systems, disaggregating results for subgroups, and devoting resources that will reduce racial and economic disparities in civic learning. It’s time we revisit the deficit approach reflected in some of our recommendations, and commit to an inclusive approach that prioritizes the voices of communities of color in fashioning solutions to inequities in the civic education system.    
  • Going forward, when we issue guidance about how to craft policies for civic education, we must do so incorporating the perspective of addressing systemic racism.  
  • We need to examine who is at the table, and whether we are meeting our goals as to inclusion – including the composition of this Advisory Council which offers this statement acknowledging we are a majority-white governing body that needs to diversify.

The civil unrest of the past several weeks has elicited voices on both sides of the aisle. Addressing racism is not a partisan issue, and it’s good to see that our political leaders recognize that, even in this polarized time. It’s once again brought to the forefront conversations about ending racial inequality that we need to make a permanent pillar of our work – and not just a matter we revisit after each violent incident. 

We issue the call to members of the Coalition interested in joining a conversation about racial equity to get in touch with Patricia Leslie-Brown.

The civic education community has always focused on supporting, and in many instances rebuilding, the civic fabric of our country. But civic strength can be built only when the words found above the entrance to the United States Supreme Court ring true: Equal Justice Under Law. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, but he emphasized that  it does not bend on its own. It is a “tragic misconception,” he wrote, that “the very flow of time… will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively.” As a community, we must work together to strengthen our national commitment to a present and future that lives up to the best of our country’s founding ideals of liberty, equality, and effective self-government, and that also builds beyond them to address injustice.

 

Sincerely,

Danielle Allen, Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University

Brian Brady, President, Mikva Challenge

Kristen Cambell, Executive Director, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement

Louise, Dube, Executive Director, iCivics 

Shawn Healy, Democracy Program Director, Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Peter Levine, Associate Dean, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University

Ted McConnell, Senior Policy Advisor, CivXNow

Julie Silverbrook, Senior Director of Growth Initiative, iCivics 

Sterling Speirn, Senior Fellow, National Conference on Citizenship

Scott Warren, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Generation Citizen 

Andrew Wilkes, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, Generation Citizen

June CivXNow Newsletter

June CivXNow Newsletter

Civic Education & Racial Justice – The Work We Need To Do
Inside this newsletter:

  • An open letter to the CivXNow Coalition
  • Youth Fellows Reflect on the Current Moment and How We Move Forward
  • New Coalition Members
  • CivXNow Federal Policy Task Force
  • Indiana Task Force Formed to Improve Civic Learning
  • CivXNow Website Launch
May CivXNow Newsletter

May CivXNow Newsletter

What do the NAEP Civics results really mean?
Inside this Newsletter:

  • Emergency Funding Request to Congress
  • New Coalition Members
  • Join the CivXNow Policy Task Force
  • Member Spotlight – Texas Civic Education Coalition
  • $200 Million Annually Recommended to Support Civic Learning
  • Catch up on May’s CivXNow Webinars
Pass the Mic: Students Discuss Equity in Civic Education webinar

Pass the Mic: Students Discuss Equity in Civic Education webinar

Listen to the webinar to hear from panelists A’Niya Bankston (Deer Valley High School, CA), Jaden Deal (Harvard, by way of IA), and Alexandra Henderson (LSU Lab School, LA) as they explore whether students are getting what they need from their civic education. This webinar passes the mic to the students, allowing them to share their insights and experiences working with adults to bring equitable change to their civic learning environments. If students are our primary stakeholders, why aren’t we asking them what they think? This session focuses on the impact of the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship, highlighting student voice as central to the discussion on equity in civic education.

Collaborating with Communities of Color for Civics webinar

Collaborating with Communities of Color for Civics webinar

Hear from CivXNow Coalition members, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Listen to the webinar to learn about collaborative opportunities available with these two organizations, how they serve Black and Brown communities, and so much more!

What Federal Policy and the Stimulus Could Mean for You webinar

What Federal Policy and the Stimulus Could Mean for You webinar

Federal policy webinar featuring the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, Andrew Wilkes of Generation Citizen, President of Linchpin Strategies Catriona Macdonald, and CivXNow Senior Policy Advisor Ted McConnell. Listen to the webinar where we discuss H.R. 6415 Inspire to Serve Act, CivXNow’s efforts to secure $40 Million in emergency civics funding, the Paycheck Protection Program, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) program, and answer your questions about how Coalition members can support these initiatives and access federal civic education funding!

April CivXNow Newsletter

April CivXNow Newsletter

The greatest living lesson in civics of our lifetimes!
Inside this Newsletter:

  • What Federal Policy and the Stimulus Could Mean for You
  • Join the CivXNow Policy Task Force
  • Mark your Calendar – CivXNow Webinars
  • Youth as Civic Experts Social Media Campaign
  • New Coalition Members
  • Member Spotlight – Building Active Citizen-Scholars with Democracy Prep
  • New York Civic Readiness Model
Educating for American Democracy convening at LSU

Educating for American Democracy convening at LSU

Educating for American Democracy: A Roadmap for Excellence in History and Civics Education for All Learners brought together academics and practitioners in education, civics, history, and political science for the first of two field convenings at Louisiana State University on February 2-4, 2020.

Together we discussed the current state of history and civics curricula across the country to begin developing a “Roadmap for Excellence” that outlines for teachers, schools, and district and state policy-makers high-priority civic content areas. In addition, we will consider recommendations for instructional strategies and best practices to integrate the teaching of civics and history at every grade level. We also hear from students, teachers and publishers about what they envision for the future of civic education to inform these discussions. The convening was a critical conversation on the Roadmap for Excellence in History and Civic Education for All Learners.

February CivXNow Newsletter

February CivXNow Newsletter

Your state can implement effective civic education that transforms schools!
Inside this Newsletter:

  • Mark your Calendar for SXSWedu – CivXNow Happy Hour and Panels
  • What do Students Think about Civic Education?
  • Member Spotlight – Laura Tavares, Facing History and Ourselves
  • Florida Moves to Increase Civic Learning Opportunities
  • Webinar with Media Training Expert Jess Todtfeld
Media Training Expert Jess Todtfeld webinar

Media Training Expert Jess Todtfeld webinar

Renowned media training expert Jess Todtfeld gave a special webinar to the members of the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship on the Do’s and Don’ts of giving interviews to the media including a crash course on strategies for pitching the media, techniques for preparing for interviews, and tips on answering media questions in a way that translates into the soundbytes that all organizations need. Listen to the webinar for Todtfeld’s top takeaways on getting more interviews and feeling calm and comfortable with reporters from any medium.

January CivXNow Newsletter

January CivXNow Newsletter

How can your state use the Massachusetts model to expand civic education?

Inside this Newsletter:

  • Website Redesign!
  • Mark Your Calendar – SXSWedu CivXNow Panels
  • Funders’ Views on Civic Education – CivXNow Webinar
  • Tennessee ‘Seals the Deal’
  • The Need for Civic Education Starts Early – The Rendell Center’s Take
  • New Coalition Member
Funders’ Views on Civic Education webinar

Funders’ Views on Civic Education webinar

Listen to the webinar for a discussion with Raj Vinnakota, President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, on his white paper that is the culmination of a year-long research initiative to map out the civic education landscape, identify what’s in practice, and hopefully attract a broader funding base to support work that produces young people who are well-informed, productively engaged, and hopeful about our democracy.