The National Center works in concert with like-minded institutions to provide middle and high school teachers and community-based mentors with tools to help young people become active participants in our democratic society. Ultimately, it is these inspired young people who will strengthen American democracy, whether through voting, community volunteerism, or public service.
Listed here are selected organizations and projects with a common interest in expanding democracy's reach through the use of innovative educational materials.
Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance provides educators with free education materials that promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity in the classroom and beyond.
Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society.
Civitas, a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, is an urban public school serving grades 9-12 in Los Angeles, California. Civitas youth are expected to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and humane leaders who have a strong sense of self and community with a commitment to social justice, environmental consciousness and democratic activism.
Facing History helps students find meaning in the past and recognize the need for participation and responsible decision making. For more than 27 years, Facing History has engaged teachers and students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.
The mission of the Center for Civic Education is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries.
The Go For Broke Educational Foundation institutes educational programs focused on the heroism and history of the Japanese American soldiers of World War II, as well as the forced evacuation and incarceration of Japanese Americans and civil liberties issues raised by those events.
The Go For Broke Educational Foundation was born out of the foresight of these brave men that through a lasting monument, the Nisei veterans’ legacy could persevere. Through education, it could be taught. Through understanding, there would be no ignorance or civil injustice.
In World War II a handful of young Americans refused to be drafted from the American concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Organized under the banner of the Fair Play Committee, they were ready to fight for their country, but not before the government restored their rights as U.S. citizens and released their families from camp.
It was the largest organized resistance to incarceration, leading to the largest trial for draft resistance in U.S. history. The government prosecuted them as criminals; Japanese American leaders and veterans ostracized them as traitors. The resisters served two years in prison, and for the next 50 were written out of the official history of Japanese America. Only recently have we rediscovered the resisters and restored them to the community. Through their eyes we delve into the heart of the Japanese American conscience and a public debate that is still alive today.
The Julian C. Dixon Institute for Cultural Studies is a museum linked think tank that addresses cultural issues related to the diverse populations of Greater Los Angeles. The Dixon Institute proactively reinforces the relationship between the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the region through research and public forums focused on imaginative collaborations between and among diverse constituencies. The Dixon Institute also promotes the development of creative solutions to increase public access to the resources and capabilities of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. The Dixon Institute brings together scholars, museum professionals and community members to address how the diverse population of the region define important issues related to their individual and shared existence.
The Jane Addams School works within the St. Paul, Minnesota community to advocate an understanding of democracy that is work-centered. It draws heavily upon concepts of democracy which see citizens as engaged in creating a commonwealth; as co-creators of their communities and citizenship in terms of the down-to-earth labors of ordinary people who create goods and undertake projects of public benefit — what they call public work.
The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance, through an interactive, interpretive facility within Independence National Historical Park and a program of national outreach, so that We the People may better secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
The American Promise brings the American democratic system to life, letting students experience firsthand what it's like to govern and make the decisions that bind us together as a country. Since its premiere on KQED and PBS, the series has been used in more than 50,000 classrooms nationwide to provide lessons in government, civics and history, with ideas that intrigue and inspire students.