O’Connor, Hamilton Promote “Engaging Civic Education” in a Pair of Public Service Announcements for Television

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., December 7, 2010 — Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former U.S. Rep. and Center on Congress Director Lee Hamilton have teamed up to produce a pair of public service announcements emphasizing the importance of teaching civics to students.

“Young people are the future of our democracy,” O’Connor says in the first PSA, but, Hamilton warns, “They won’t just wake up one day and know how to run this country.” In the second PSA, O’Connor says “Each generation must learn how to participate in our democracy,” and Hamilton adds “We must provide engaging civic education to our children.”

Hamilton and O’Connor are co-chairs of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, a coalition of organizations working to increase and improve civic education in America’s K-12 schools. Hamilton has been active in this arena since he retired from Congress in 1999 and established the Center on Congress, a non-partisan educational institution working to improve the public's understanding of Congress and to encourage civic engagement.

O’Connor, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2006, is the founder of iCivics, a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. (www.icivics.org)

The O’Connor-Hamilton PSAs, each with a run time of 30 seconds, have been distributed to television stations across the country by the National Association of Broadcasters.

To view the PSAs, click these links:

Future Citizens

Civic Education

About the Center

The Center on Congress developed out of Lee Hamilton's recognition during his 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives that the public should be more familiar with Congress’ strengths and weaknesses, its role in our system of government, and its impact on the lives of ordinary people every day.

The Center seeks to inspire young people and adults to take an active part in revitalizing representative government in America. To that end the Center offers an extensive array of civic education programs, projects and resources that foster an informed electorate which understands our system of government and participates in civic life. These include: print publications; Web-based, interactive modules and other online learning tools in English and Spanish; commentaries for newspapers and radio stations; video and television in the classroom resources; survey research; teacher awards; and seminars, conferences, and a lecture series.

The Center on Congress is supported in part by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington. For more information about the Center, go to www.centeroncongress.org.