On September 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. iCivics – the largest civic education provider in the country founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (U.S. Supreme Court, Ret.), the Jonathan Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and the Lou Frey Institute co-hosted the Democracy at a Crossroads: Innovative Civic Learning Now! National Summit. The summit brought together over 250 attendees and raised awareness about this issue and showcased solutions to make the case that resources are needed to expand proven practices.

At the summit, Dr. Peter Levine and Dr. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg from CIRCLE at Tufts University released a white paper on the state of civic education including new promising data about state level interventions that are revolutionizing the field and have had significant impact on student achievement. Philanthropic leaders as well as thought leaders and press joined us to explore these new findings, to discuss the great divides in our nation and to shed light on the role effective civic learning could play in bridging those divides through building media literacy skills and promoting civil discourse. Leading education policymakers including Senator Bob Graham and others discussed the vital importance of civic learning and the specific legislative and policy innovations that have been implemented to teach citizenship knowledge and skills. Leading researchers and practitioners also showcased the innovation that has taken place in civic learning in recent years. Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor closed the summit by sharing why she is continuing leadership from the Supreme Court on this issue.

For far too long we have taken the essential civic mission of our schools for granted. While a few school subjects have been promoted over all others, civic learning has seen shrinking time and resources. Nevertheless, the community of organizations that partnered on the summit and championed this work continue to be devoted to research and programming for civic learning. The summit demonstrated that these innovations are producing new teaching strategies and making civic learning more engaging for students of all backgrounds. This coalition of organizations have now come together to bring innovative civic learning to scale through #CivXNow!


8 AM
Registration and Breakfast
9 AM
Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:15 AM
Section 1: Panel Discussion
State of Our Democracy: What’s at Stake
10:10 AM
Section 2: Concurrent Sessions
Policy Innovation: Getting Results from Renewing a Commitment to Civic
How Civic Learning Got its Groove Back: Demand, Proof and Innovation in today’s classrooms
11:00 AM
Section 3: Panel Discussion
Civic Learning Across the Divide
12:10 PM
Luncheon and Keynote Remarks
Teaching the Rules of the Game: Why Invest in Civic Education
Spotlight: Next Generation Democracy
Making the Case for Civic Education: Why We Must Act Now
2:00 PM
Section 4: Concurrent Sessions
Digital Engagement: Gaming, news and young people – Strategies for scale Laying the Groundwork for Equity in Our Democracy
3:00 PM
Announcements and Award Ceremony CivX Commitments to Action & National Civic Learning Award for Exceptional Service
3:40 PM
Section 5: A Conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor
4:30 PM


Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She thereafter served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she was an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.
Judy Woodruff is the Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour. She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS. For 12 years, Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, where she anchored the weekday program, "Inside Politics." In 2011, Woodruff was the principal reporter for the PBS documentary "Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime." And in 2007, she completed an extensive project on the views of young Americans called "Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard." From 2006-2013, she anchored a monthly program for Bloomberg Television, "Conversations with Judy Woodruff." At PBS from 1983 to 1993, she was the chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. From 1984-1990, she also anchored PBS' award-winning weekly documentary series, "Frontline with Judy Woodruff." At NBC News, Woodruff was White House correspondent from 1977 to 1982 and she wrote the book, "This is Judy Woodruff at the White House." Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women's Media Foundation. Judy is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, journalist Al Hunt, and they are the parents of three children: Jeffrey, Benjamin and Lauren.
John B. King Jr. is the President/CEO The Education Trust, a national nonprofit organization that seeks to identify and close educational opportunity and achievement gaps. King served as U.S. Secretary of Education in the Obama administration. Prior to that role, King carried out the duties of Deputy Secretary, overseeing policies and programs related to P-12 education, English learners special education, innovation, and agency operations. King joined the department following his post as New York State Education Commissioner. King began his career as a high school social studies teacher and middle school principal.
Senator Bob Graham is the former two-term Governor of Florida and served for 18 years in the United States Senate. This, combined with 12 years in the Florida legislature, represents a total of 38 years of public service.

As Governor and Senator, Bob Graham was a centrist, committed to bringing his colleagues together behind programs that served the broadest public interest. He was recognized by the people of Florida when he received an 83% approval ranking as he concluded eight years as Governor. Bob Graham retired from public service in January, 2005.

He has written four books; “Workdays- Finding Florida on the Job”; “Intelligence Matters,” and a novel, “Keys to the Kingdom,” both drawing on his experiences as chair of Senate Intelligence Committee; and two guides to effective citizenship, written while he was a senior fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and published in 2010 and 2016 entitled “America the Owner’s Manual”.

Since leaving the Senate in 2005, Graham has been a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; chair of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction; a member of the Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission; and co-chair of the Presidential Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Florida and the Harvard Law School, he established the Center for Public Service at the University of Florida to enhance civic engagement and prepare the next generation of public and civic leaders.

Graham and the former Adele Khoury have been married for 58 years. They have four daughters, the oldest of which, Gwen Graham, was elected to the U.S. Congress in 2014, and 11 grandchildren.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy is the co-founder and president of the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. She is a senior counsel in the corporate and securities practice group of the international law firm Greenberg Trauig LLP where she advises clients on governmental and regulatory issues and assists them in devising strategies for the resolution of complex business problems. Victoria Kennedy is a Trustee (Presidential Appointment) of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Leadership Roundtable. Additionally, she is a member of the Commission on Political Reform at the Bi-Partisan Policy Center. Mrs. Kennedy has been a leading voice on the empowerment of women and girls in our society, and is an advocate for expanding medical research and access to health care for all Americans.
Over his distinguished 13-year NBA career and his heralded collegiate career at Duke University, Shane Battier has established himself as a scholar athlete, All-American, leader, champion and philanthropist. Dubbed the “No-Stats All-Star” in a New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story written by Michael Lewis, Battier is regarded as one of the most complete players in the NBA for his leadership, lockdown defense, and intellectual approach to the game. A six-time divisional winner of the NBA “Sportsmanship Award”, Battier is also known for his exemplary character and his commitment to community service. He and his wife, Heidi, launched The Battier Take Charge Foundation to provide resources and programs for the development and education of underserved youth and teens.

Battier graduated from Duke University in May 2001 with an NCAA Championship and a degree in comparative religions. He swept the national player of the year awards, was named the academic player of the year and won a gold medal at the Goodwill Games as a member of USA Basketball.
After 34 years of public service, including 24 years as an elected official, Governor Rendell continues to pursue many of the same issues he was passionate about while serving. His commitment to making America a cleaner, more efficient place and to fostering investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure is as strong as it has ever been.

Governor Rendell currently serves as Co-Chair of “Building America’s Future”, along with Mike Bloomberg and former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and travels throughout the country speaking about the importance of rebuilding and investing in America’s infrastructure. In 2012, Governor Rendell penned his first book, A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. In A Nation of Wusses, Rendell chronicles his storied political career with his trademark candor while making a strong statement about the state of American leadership.

Governor Rendell served two terms as Governor of Pennsylvania (2003-2011) and oversaw a budget of $28.3 billion as the chief executive of the nation’s 6th-most-populous state. As Governor, Rendell was committed to making government more responsible and responsive to the public’s needs, and he successfully cut wasteful spending and improved efficiency leading to savings of over $1 billion. His legislative agenda focused on commonsense political reform and putting progress ahead of partisanship.

During his two terms as Mayor of Philadelphia (1992-2000), Rendell eliminated a crippling deficit, balanced the City’s budget, and generated five consecutive budget surpluses. Philadelphia’s renaissance, which The New York Times called “the most stunning turnaround in recent urban history,” is largely attributed to his determination, inspiration, and energy. Before serving as Mayor, Rendell was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia for two terms from 1978 through 1985. Rendell also served as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential election.

An Army veteran, he holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Villanova Law School.
Jeffrey Rosen is President and CEO of the National Constitution Center. He is also a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School, and a Contributing Editor of The Atlantic.

Rosen is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. His new book, Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet, was published on June 1, 2016, the 100th anniversary of Brandeis’s Supreme Court confirmation. His other books include The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, the best-selling companion book to the award-winning PBS series; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Freedom and Security in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America, which The New York Times called the definitive text in privacy perils in the digital age. Rosen is coeditor, with Benjamin Wittes, of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change, the proceedings of the Brookings Project on Technology and the Constitution.

His essays and commentaries have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, on National Public Radio, in the New Republic, where he was the legal affairs editor, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the ten best magazine journalists in America, and the Los Angeles Times called him the nation’s most widely read and influential legal commentator.
Greg Toppo is the national education and demographics reporter for USA Today. A graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., he taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism. His first job was with the Santa Fe New Mexican, a 50,000-circulation daily. He worked for four years as a wire service reporter with the Associated Press, first in Baltimore and then in Washington, D.C., where he became the AP’s national K-12 education writer.

He came to USA Today in 2002 and in 2005 broke the Armstrong Williams “pay for punditry” story that launched a widespread look at government propaganda. Toppo also co-led the USA Today team that in 2011 looked at educator-led cheating on standardized tests. The paper’s series prompted the Washington, D.C., inspector general to investigate high erasure rates in D.C. schools. Toppo was a 2010 Spencer fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and is the author of the book The Game Believes In You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter (April 2015).

He and his wife have two grown daughters. They live near Baltimore.
Danielle Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. Widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America, Allen is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality (2014), Education and Equality (2016), and Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. (2017). She is the co-editor of the award-winning Education, Justice, and Democracy (2013, with Rob Reich) and From Voice to Influence: Understanding Citizenship in the Digital Age (2015, with Jennifer Light). She is a Chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and a member of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs Advisory Board, as well as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Daniel Stid is Director of the Madison Initiative at the Hewlett Foundation. The goal of the Initiative is to help Congress work better in our polarized age. From 2006 through 2013, Daniel was a partner at The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit consultancy. Between 1997 and 2005, Daniel worked as a management consultant at BCG. He began his career as a political scientist teaching at Wabash College and served as a Congressional Fellow on the staff of the House Majority Leader. A graduate of Hope College, he holds an MPhil in politics from Oxford University and a doctorate in government from Harvard University. He is a board member of Wellspring, a ministry based in Menlo Park, California, and volunteers as an instructor with the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison. Daniel is proud to have been commissioned as an honorary Kentucky Colonel for his service to the Commonwealth.
Michael Smith currently serves as Director of Youth Opportunity Programs at the Obama Foundation and Executive Director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (on loan from the Obama Foundation). In these roles, Michael leads the Obama Foundation’s efforts to scale the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative and aligned efforts to expand opportunity for youth in greatest need.

Michael was part of the team that designed and launched My Brother’s Keeper, a cross-sector call to action to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. As Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper, Michael became the first and only White House director of the initiative. Prior to joining the White House team, Michael was an appointee in the Obama Administration, serving as director of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF), a key White House initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that combines federal and private investment to help scale and replicate evidence-based solutions to complex social challenges.

Before joining the Obama Administration Michael served as Senior Vice President of Social Innovation at the Case Foundation, where he oversaw the Foundation’s giving and program strategy and guided numerous sector-building initiatives and public-private partnerships. Michael also helped build national initiatives aimed at bridging the “digital divide” at the Beaumont Foundation of America and PowerUP, served as a senior program and communications staff member at the Family Center Boys & Girls Club in Springfield, MA, was an aide to U.S. Congressman Richard E. Neal and has a B.A. in Communications from Marymount University. Prior to his federal service, Michael served for many years on the boards of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), and Public Allies.
Stefanie Sanford leads College Board advocacy initiatives with policymakers, public and private institutions, and organizations to advance educational access and opportunity for all students. She heads the Washington Office and oversees the College Board’s Communications & Marketing, Policy, and Government Relations departments and strategic relationships with foundations. She is a member of the board of America’s Promise Alliance and a trustee of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Prior to joining the College Board, Stefanie spent over 10 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, most recently as the director of policy and advocacy for the United States Program. Before joining the foundation, she held several senior policy positions in both Republican and Democratic offices at the state level. At the federal level, she was a White House Fellow in the Office of Cabinet Affairs.

Stefanie has written and spoken extensively on education and technology topics, served as a German Marshall Fellow and as a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, and is the author of Civic Life in the Information Age: Politics, Technology, and Generation X.

A native Texan, she holds a B.S. from Texas Christian University, an MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Stefanie is married to David Moore, a White House Fellow classmate, retired fighter pilot, and Shakespeare enthusiast. They split their time between Washington, D.C., Austin, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Education Commission of the States. An award-winning writer, he is the author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma, and editor of Education for Upward Mobility. Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg View, and Slate, and appears frequently on television and radio. Petrilli helped to create the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, the Policy Innovators in Education Network, and, long, long ago, Young Education Professionals. He serves on the advisory boards of the Association of American Educators, MDRC, and Texas Aspires. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.