Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Launches Adult Civics Education Platform

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy announced the launch of Civics for Life, an online, adult civics education platform that supports anyone who wants to learn more about civics, develop their understanding and capacity for civil discourse and make a difference for themselves, their family and their communities.

According to a 2022 Annenberg Center for Public Policy survey, one in four Americans cannot name a single branch of the U.S. government. According to a 2022 poll from Yahoo News and, 49 percent of Americans believe the U.S. will cease to be a democracy in the future.

“Civics for Life will continue Justice O’Connor’s legacy of working valiantly to counter these alarming trends,” said Sarah Suggs, president and CEO of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy. “We believe being informed and participating in your community and government is a simple and effective recipe for being the best citizen you can be and preserving our system of government, no matter one’s political views.”

The Civics for Life platform aims to address the knowledge gap of countless Americans who did not receive or received little civics education during their school years. As Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has stated, “We have a complex system of government. You have to teach it to every generation.”

Justice O’Connor recently celebrated her 93rd birthday and was honored at the Institute’s Annual Legacy Luncheon, which occurs every year during Women’s History Month. “Civics for Life is the Institute’s birthday gift to Justice O’Connor,” said board co-chair Gay Firestone Wray.

Civics for Life will provide resources for all ages across the country through robust and user-friendly civics educational materials; an ever-expanding library of online conversations and debates with policymakers, authors and thought leaders showcasing the rich variety of ideas, questions and concerns that are important to citizens; Input Circle and Public Square online communities demonstrating civil and productive discourse and engagement; audio, video and written resources advancing civics education and civil discourse; topical “dueling op-ed” written contributions elevating the best and most sophisticated arguments on both sides of a newsworthy civics-related issue; and an online publication, “Civics for Life Quarterly,” focusing on content that connects civics to our daily lives.

“Civics for Life embraces a lifelong learning approach, and we are eager to not only disseminate civics knowledge but create it as well,” said Matthew P. Feeney, board co-chair of the O’Connor Institute. “We’re currently working on the production of original research that will add to the important national conversation about civics and public policy.”

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About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media. She is Principal of Julie Coleman Consulting, providing strategic philanthropy consulting services for individuals, families, businesses, foundations and nonprofit organizations.
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