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Wayne Vance
Center on Congress

Last modified: Thursday, December 16, 2010

O'Connor, Hamilton promote 'Engaging Civic Education' in public service announcements

Dec. 16, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor 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."

O'Connor and Hamilton

Sandra Day O'Connor and Lee Hamilton

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 at Indiana University, a non-partisan educational institution working to improve the public's understanding of Congress and to encourage civic engagement. He served in the U.S. House for 30 years, representing Indiana's 9th District.

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. For more information see

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: and

About the Center on Congress

The Center on Congress is a non-partisan, educational institution established in 1999 to help improve the public's understanding of Congress and to encourage civic engagement.

The Center offers an extensive array of 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. For more information, see