ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership teams with Sandra Day O’Connor Institute to honor Civics Celebration Day in September

K-12 public schools across Arizona will commemorate the occasion with a wide range of activities, lessons, and competitions

TEMPE, Ariz., Sept. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University (SCETL) has partnered with the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy to celebrate Constitution Day (September 17, 2022) and the newly established Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Celebration Day, which will be observed on September 26 this year.

Civic Celebration Day was signed into law in 2020 by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to celebrate a day when a majority of classroom instruction in the state’s K-12 public schools is devoted to civics education. School districts and charter schools across Arizona are encouraged to use a wide range of engaging activities to teach students about civics. The week honors Justice Sandra Day O’Connor taking her seat on the bench as the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court and commends her dedication to promoting civics education. 

“We are proud to partner with the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy to empower teachers, students, and Arizona citizens with civic education content,” said Dr. Paul Carrese, founding director of the school. “As Justice O’Connor warned us, the country faces a civics crisis, and our school is ready to help bridge this alarming gap,” he added.

To commemorate the occasion, the Center for Political Thought and Leadership at ASU (CPTL), a center under the umbrella of SCETL, has developed and delivered extensive programming in the summer of 2022 for teachers and high school students on American civics. 

  • During the week between Constitution Day (September 17, 2022) and Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day (September 26, 2022), CPTL will offer to provide expert visits to classrooms, connecting current issues and events with the principles of American civics; offer ready-made, short lesson plan designs; and present a special civics seminar for teachers hosted by CPTL in September and October.

“The Center for Political Thought and Leadership at ASU has the sole mission of supporting civic education and we are grateful for Governor Ducey’s commitment to civic education,” said Dr. Lucian Spataro, interim director of the center. “Civic Celebration Day takes us one step closer to increase civic literacy in our state, and we are excited to provide teachers across Arizona with tools and content to share with their students,” he added.

As part of the collaborative effort, the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy will pay tribute to their founder by:

  • On Monday, September 26, launch its national O’Connor Civics Challenge for middle school students to express their civics knowledge through essays, art, music, poetry, or videos to earn laptops and other educational tools.
  • On Tuesday, September 27, a reception will honor Justice O’Connor, including the impact she has made in Arizona.
  • On Wednesday, September 28, the institute will present the webcast premiere “The Future of the Court” featuring professor Christina Rodríguez (Yale Law School and a former law clerk of Justice O’Connor) and Adam White (American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.). Rodriguez and White both served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States; Rodríguez was the commission’s co-chair.

“Civics education is vitally important to Justice O’Connor and the Institute she founded,” said Sarah Suggs, president and CEO of the Institute. “We are committed to multigenerational civics education, civil discourse and civic engagement, each embodied in the life work of Justice O’Connor and are honored to work with SCETL.”

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy was founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3), continues her distinguished legacy and lifetime work to advance American democracy through multigenerational civil discourse, civics education and civic engagement. Visit

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University (SCETL) is an academic unit inside The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Founded in 2017, the school combines liberal arts education with civic education, including outside-the-classroom learning experiences, to prepare students for leadership roles in the public and private sectors. The school also hosts a robust public program of civic education through its Civic Discourse Project, which addresses the pressing issues of our times and emphasizes civil disagreement. Visit

The Center for Political Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University (CPTL) is part of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at ASU. The center aims to further research in American political thought and to support civic education at all levels both within and beyond the classroom environment. The center supports scholars, teachers, and students in their efforts to understand and improve American political society. We are nonpartisan and inter-ideological, focused on the pursuit of knowledge and the practice of truth as common goods for American politics and culture. Visit

SCETL Media Contact: Marcia Paterman Brookey: [email protected] | (918) 859-3013

O’Connor Institute Media Contact: Heather Schader: [email protected] | (602) 730-3300 x8 | @SDOInstitute

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SOURCE School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University

Written by Tenner Smith

Tenner Smith - I have experience in financial intelligence and automated intelligence. In industry I have worked on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Tenner Smith is a reporter at DF media.

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