April 2022
Appreciating our Teachers, the Foremost Guardians of our Constitutional Democracy
Teachers have weathered two-plus tumultuous years of pandemic and polarized political debates about civics and history content and pedagogy. Nevertheless, they persist, and affirming my claim from a year ago, remain the foremost guardians of our constitutional democracy. May 2–8 is Teacher Appreciation Week and the CivXNow Coalition wholeheartedly salutes our teachers in the trenches.
I began my career as a civics teacher and learned early on that while what happened in my classroom was of course my top priority, I also had an obligation to continuously improve my professional capacity and advocate far and wide for the civic mission of schools. Decades later, and 15 months into my role leading policy and advocacy for the CivXNow Coalition, I have the privilege of partnering with classroom educators from coast to coast to spread the word among policymakers of the wisdom of strengthening state and federal K–12 civic education policies. (Read more below about congressional meetings with iCivics Educator Network members and James Madison Fellows.)
As my colleague Ace Parsi, Director of Coalition Engagement, describes below, May is a month of action for the Coalition in its efforts to advance civic education. We pursue this collective work in honor of, and in partnership with, civic heroes from across the fruited plain—K–12 civics and social studies teachers. To all the teachers reading this newsletter, we sincerely appreciate you and all that you do each day to foster reflective patriotism among students, the inheritors and future caretakers of our constitutional democracy.
Yours in civics,
Shawn Healy
Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy, iCivics
Inside this newsletter:
  Educators Advocate for Civics
  May Weeks of Action
  Upcoming Events
  April Events Recap
  New Coalition Members
Educators Advocate for Civics
iCivics, the CivXNow Coalition’s parent organization, has a national Educator Network with 370+ members from 48 states, touching 229 U.S. congressional districts. Members have regularly partnered with the CivXNow Policy Team in meetings with congressional staff on the federal Civics Secures Democracy (CSD) Act.
Several members of iCivics’ Educator Network are also James Madison Fellows and our team has engaged this network of more than 1,400 exemplary educators from every state in congressional meetings.
The Madison Fellowship stands to benefit from a one-time, $20M investment in its endowment through CSD, allowing it to offer more life-changing graduate fellowships to teachers nationally. The Madison Fellowship would also administer the new Prince Hall Fellowship as part of CSD, which would provide financial incentives to teachers of color during their first five years as civics teachers in an effort to diversify the profession’s pipeline.
Madison Fellows and iCivics Educator Network members have made a compelling case for the broader investments of CSD in local school districts, a full 60% of all funding in the bill. This includes greater access to ongoing professional development centered on both civics content and pedagogy; high-quality, nonpartisan curriculum and materials; and strengthened and expanded student learning opportunities. More than anything, our educators believe deeply that a generational federal investment in the civic capacity of students, teachers, and schools, as represented by CSD, will ensure civics is prioritized alongside other core subjects and our schools will move closer to their original civic mission.
May Weeks of Action
We are proud, individually and organizationally, to stand up for the civic mission of schools and the educators and schools that tirelessly —and often thanklessly— execute it. Organizations in the CivXNow Coalition are joining forces for two targeted weeks of action:
May 9–13: #Civics4CommUNITY Awareness Week
This week, we will highlight three realities of quality civic learning:
  It is core to the health of our constitutional democracy;
  each and every student should have access to it; and
  it is a nonpartisan endeavor that engages students across the viewpoint spectrum.
We encourage organizations and individuals to engage in this week by sharing resources and content that illustrates these principles using the #Civics4CommUNITY hashtag. And, be sure to engage in the #Civics4CommUNITY photo and video challenge, sharing appreciation for students, teachers, schools, and education principles that embody the civic mission of schools.
May 16–20: Civic Advocacy Week
During this week, CivXNow Coalition member organizations and their networks will advocate for bipartisan policies that advance civic education at the state and federal levels.
Upcoming Events
Please mark your calendar for the following events:
CivXNow Coalition All-Member Meeting
May 12, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET | Register
Join CivXNow Coalition members for updates on federal policy advocacy efforts, research, messaging/PR strategy, and coalition building. Meetings for Coalition members are held on the second Thursday of every other month: May, July, September, and November of this year.
InquirED Civic Literacy: More Important than Ever in a Digital World
May 12, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. ET | Register
We are flooded by conflicting messages every time we turn on our computer. How do we prepare students to cope with this complexity? Join InquirED and special guest Sam Wineburg, Founder and Executive Director of the Stanford History Education Group, in exploring conflicting narratives about historical events, and how these can be used to teach students to think clearly and critically.
April Events Recap
Business For America | Watch On-Demand
Business for America facilitated a conversation with Jerry Zimmerman (Allstate Corporation), Chuck Dunlap (Indiana Bar Foundation), and Louise Dubé (CivXNow/iCivics) highlighting the need and business case for high-quality civic education. The panelists also discussed business strategies for promoting employee civic engagement and ways that companies can use their political capital to advocate for the passage of the Civics Secures Democracy Act.
History and Civics Accessibility as a Practical Civil Right | Watch On-Demand
Presenters Rich Cairn (Emerging America) and Leslie Villegas (New America) joined CivXNow and Educating All Learners Alliance to discuss how to position access to high-quality civics and history education as a civil right for all students, particularly those with disabilities and/or English language learners (ELLs).
  Educating All Learners
The panelists discussed how meaningful it is for students with disabilities and/or ELLs to see themselves in civics and history curriculum, how educational outcomes in all subject areas are improved when students traditionally left out are included, and how society would benefit from court cases that seek to secure civics and history education as a student right.
Meet the Newest CivXNow Coalition Members
The CivXNow Coalition continues to grow, now standing at 210 member organizations! The latest additions include:
  Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin
  Listen First Project
  National Association of Counties
  Ohio Council for the Social Studies
The Coalition remains deeply appreciative of member efforts and of all we have accomplished together. Our goal is to aggregate and activate large networks of support to expand and re-imagine civic education as a force for civic strength. To our Coalition members, thank you for your partnership.
If you are part of an organization interested in joining the Coalition or learning more, please contact us at CivXNow@icivics.org.
Our Mission
CivXNow is a coalition of partners from diverse viewpoints working to create a culture shift that elevates civic education and engagement as a national priority in order to protect and strengthen America’s constitutional democracy. This includes building a shared commitment to ensure that all young people are prepared to assume their rights and responsibilities to participate in civic life and address the issues facing students, their families, and communities in our increasingly dynamic, polarized, and digital society.
To achieve this goal, CivXNow advocates for bipartisan federal and state legislation that supports implementation of state and local policies that reimagine and deliver relevant, inclusive, and engaging K-12 civic learning, both in- and out-of-school.
A Team Effort
The CivXNow team produces this newsletter each month.
We are grateful for the energy, time, and guidance of the CivXNow Advisory Council and to many, many others who support individual projects.
The important work of CivXNow is generously funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York,
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
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