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RealClear American Civics portal editor Mike Sabo highlights civic institutions that are working to create a nation of self-governing citizens. Below you will find a link to each institution, complete with important resources and an op-ed featuring a key leader.

Center for Education Reform

Based in Washington, D.C., the Center for Education Reform was founded by Jeanne Allen in 1993 to "expand educational opportunities" that can yield "improved economic outcomes for all Americans, particularly our youth." Through "rapid, relentless, and honest analysis," Allen works to ensure that every student is "afforded the education they need and deserve, no matter their zip code."


Article: Center for Education Reform Looks to Preserve the American Dream: "Who will teach our children, and what will we teach them?" According to Center for Education Reform Founder and CEO Jeanne Allen, having a good answer for these questions is crucial for maintaining the American heritage and the traditions . . . Read more.

The Woodson Center/1776 Unites

Founded by civil rights veteran and entrepreneur Bob Woodson, the Woodson Center gives local leaders the resources they need to stop crime, reduce poverty, and spread literacy in their communities. 1776 Unites, a Woodson Center project, highlights the resilience and virtues of black heroes through essays, a curriculum, and multimedia resources.


Article: '1776' Is Helping Turn Civics Education Around: Entrepreneur and civil rights movement veteran Robert L. Woodson, Sr. believes that American civics can help save our country—and that’s the mission of "1776," a major initiative launched earlier this year by the Woodson Center, which Woodson founded to give local leaders the training they need . . . Read more.

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars aims to "uphold the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship." Through detailed reports, a podcast, and articles, NAS president Peter Wood and his team work to bolster American civic education.


  • 1620 Project: Articles, seminars, and podcasts aimed at refuting the New York Times's 1619 Project.
  • Reports and Projects: Offers groundbreaking reports and analysis of important trends in higher education.
  • Academic Questions: Quarterly journal promoting academic integrity and intellectual freedom on campuses.
  • Curriculum Vitae: Podcast featuring Peter Wood interviewing notable scholars and public figures.

Article: Making Citizens: The Mission of the National Association of Scholars: During a National Association of Scholars webinar last week, historian Wilfred M. McClay had harsh words for the New York Times’s 1619 Project, calling its scholarship "poor" and "embarrassing" and noting that some of America’s most distinguished . . . Read more.

Bill of Rights Institute

Under the leadership of David Bobb, the Bill of Rights Institute brings quality civic education straight to students in order to instill a "thoughtful patriotism that prepares them for a lifetime of moral and civic virtue." BRI offers "free, best-in-class, viewpoint diverse, and comprehensive classroom resources," including a digital textbook, primary source documents, and more.


Article: Constitution Day Is a Golden Education Opportunity: With Constitution Day approaching on September 17, parents, teachers, and students looking to understand the principles and practices of American citizens have a place they can turn: the Bill of Rights Institute. BRI’s Constitution Day 2020 portal features lesson plans, resources . . . Read more.


Based at Ashland Univeristy, Executive Director Jeff Sikkenga and his team at Ashbrook aim "to restore and strengthen the capacities of the American people for constitutional self-government" by teaching students the truth about the meaning of America.


Article: Creating Thoughtful Citizens at Ashbrook: "We’re in the freedom business." That’s what Ashbrook Center Executive Director Jeffrey Sikkenga was memorably told more than two decades ago, when he first asked about the organization’s mission. Located at Ashland University in central Ohio, Ashbrook aims “to restore . . . Read more.

'Right Makes Might': The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

"Might Makes Right: The Lincoln-Douglass Debates" is a Fox Nation documentary featuring notable Civil War historians Allen Guelzo, Lucas Morel, and Michael Burlingame exploring the most important debate in American history, which occurred during a U.S. Senate race between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas in 1858.


Article: 'Right Makes Might' Explores Pivotal Lincoln-Douglas Debates: "Right Makes Might: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates" is a timely documentary now streaming at Fox Nation that all Americans should watch. Narrated by Lincoln historian Allen Guelzo, it features noted scholars Michael Burlingame, Lucas Morel, and Charles Kesler . . . Read more.

Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization

The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization was founded to "create an educational environment of the highest standards in which evidence and argument prevail over ideology and cant." Guided by the training of noted historian of American slavery, Eugene Genovese, President Robert L. Paquette and his staff offer conferences, fellowships, and lecures on the American republic.


Article: Alexander Hamilton Institute Seeks to Bridge America’s Divisions: America today is "a deeply divided country," says Robert L. Paquette, president and executive director of the New York-based Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, in ways reminiscent of the "civilizational struggle that tore apart . . . Read more.

Great Hearts

Great Hearts manages dozens of tuition-free K-12 charter schools throughout Arizona and Texas. It is guided by three principles: "the integration of intellectual and moral virtue, the use and close reading of primary sources, and a pedagogy of imitation, whereby masterful works become the standard to which students aspire."


Article: Great Hearts: Working to Restore American Education: "To cultivate the minds and hearts of students through the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty" – this is the core purpose of Great Hearts, a nonprofit that manages 33 tuition-free K-12 charter schools throughout Arizona and Texas and is looking to open its eighth Texas campus . . . Read more.

ConSource/Quill Project

Led by Nichlas Cole, the Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) offers a free digital library featuring historical documents related to the creation, ratification, and amending of the U.S. Constitution. ConSource recently merged with the Quill Project at Oxford University, which features a one-of-a-kind digital platform that tracks every paper and proposal in the making of modern constitutions.


  • Document Collection: Large database of primary source documents on the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions.
  • Lesson Plans: Lesson plans for grades 3-12 on American documents such as the U.S. Constitution.
  • Constitutional Analysis Tool: Documents and world-class digital tools to analyze the Constitutional Convention.

Article: Oxford Will House Digital Study Center for the American Founding: The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource), a free digital library featuring historical documents related to the creation, ratification, and amending of the United States Constitution, is merging with the Quill Project, a research center housed at Oxford . . . Read more.


iCivics offers a wide range of virtual games for students of all ages that will teach them the fundamentals of American government and civics. Founded by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, iCivics works "to solve the problem of inequitable and uninspiring civic education and cultivate new generations of thoughtful and active citizens," according to Exectuive Director Louise Dubé.


  • Online Games: Collection of digital games that teach students key principles of civic education.
  • Lesson Plans: Lesson plans that make learning about civic education enjoyable for students.
  • 2020 Election HQ: Virtual games, lessons plans, and more on the 2020 election.

Article: Helping Students Make Sense of the 2020 Election: iCivics Shows the Way: With America just hours away from what many regard as one of the most pivotal elections in its history, how can teachers help students make sense of it all? One place they can go is iCivics, an online civics-education resource founded by former Supreme Court . . . Read more

School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership

The School of Civics and Economic Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to study great philosophers and statesmen in tandem with "the guiding principles of America’s founders and inspirational leaders." According to founding director Paul Carrese, SCETL provides students with the tools they need to be 21st century leaders.


Article: Creating Leaders for the 21st Century: ASU’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership: As Americans deal with the political fallout from the 2020 election, Arizona State University associate professor Adam Seagrave says that “extreme political polarization” and the “breakdown of productive civil discourse” continue to be . . . Read more.

Orrin G. Hatch Foundation

Founded by former U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation works to rebuild America’s civic infrastructure by elevating "the smartest voices and most innovative policy ideas." The Foundation looks for bipartisan solutions to seemingly intractable issues of national importance such as the low state of American civic literacy.


Article: The Orrin G. Hatch Foundation: Civility and Solutions for Polarizing Times: Despite everything that the United States has gone through in 2020, former U.S. Senator Orrin G. Hatch says that he is "intensely optimistic about what’s ahead." What gives him hope about America’s future? It’s that "every challenge we’ve faced—from Valley Forge to Covid-19 . . . Read more.

Plimoth Patuxet Museums

Plimoth Patuxet Museums feature multiple living-history, open-air museums based in and around Plymouth, Massachusetts that, according to Deputy Executive Director Richard Pickering, offer an "inclusive refuge of thought and belief where varied perceptions of European and Native American history abide with mutual respect."


  • Plimoth Online: Wide range of virtual programs for teachers, students, and parents on Plimoth's history.
  • Mayflower II: Read about and look at the building and restoration of the Mayflower II.
  • Visit Historic Homesites: Plan your visit to the Plimoth Patuxet, Mayflower II, the Plimoth Grist Mill, and more.

Article: Celebrate Thanksgiving with Plimoth Patuxet Museums: As Americans gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving, Plimoth Patuxet Museums (PPM) can help shed light on the origins of one of the nation’s most widely shared traditions. Though the Continental Congress declared the first national Thanksgiving . . . Read more.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Housed at the New-York Historical Society, the Gilder Lehrman Institue of American History offers a full-spectrum view of American history to students and the general public through its vast collection of primary source documents, along with education programs and interactive online exhibits.


  • Documents Collection: Virtual database including over 70,000 items covering five hundred years of American history.
  • Affiliate School Program: Free resource for K-12 schools that helps make American history come alive in the classroom.
  • Hamilton Education Program: Primary source materials for students to use in creating performance pieces.
  • "History Now" Journal: Online quarterly journal featuring articles and essays written by top historians and scholars.

Article: Bringing History to the Classroom: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Though it’s easy to be pessimistic about America’s future after such a traumatic year, James Basker, president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, feels optimistic: "History teaches us that our country has faced terrible crises . . . Read more.

American Revolution Institute

Founded in 2012, the American Revolution Institute works to ensure that Americans understand and appreciate the legacy of the American Revolution by providing access to artwork, exhibits, and other resources. Executive Director Jack Warren says that ARI works to maintain an informed citizenry that can engage in responsible debate grounded in respect for our nation’s history and institutions.


Article: Where to Learn About the Heroes of the American Revolution: "The American Revolution was the central event in American history," says American Revolution Institute Executive Director Jack Warren. "It defined our nation. Its achievements are the common inheritance of all Americans, regardless of whether their ancestors fought . . . Read more.

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

Led by Michael Poliakoff, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni provides resources for trustees, alumni, parents and students, and policymakers to promote liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard free inquiry on college and university campuses, and ensure college affordability.


  • What Will They Learn 2020-2021: Report that analyzes core requirements at colleges and universites.
  • COVID-19 Roadmap: Tools that trustees and policymakers need to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Forum: Blog featuring posts on education policy, essays on American political thought, and more.
  • Higher Ed Now Podcast: ACTA employees discuss the most pressing issues in education policy.

Article: ACTA Is a Leader in Education Reform: "For most of American history, colleges viewed the cultivation of civic consciousness as centrally important to their mission," argues American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) president Michael Poliakoff. "Not long ago, a university president would have been mortified . . . Read more.

James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions

Based at Princeton University and led by Professor Robert George, the James Madison Program in American Ideal and Institutions promotes the study of "free political institutions and the cultural conditions for their establishment and maintenance." The Madison Program offers opportunities for undergraduates, graduate, postdoc, and seasoned scholars.


Article: The Importance of Civic Education in a Creedal Nation: "Civic knowledge is an indispensable element of what it means to be a good American," Princeton University professor Robert George maintains. George’s paternal grandfather was an immigrant from Syria, and his maternal grandfather emigrated to America . . . Read more.

James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal

Named after former North Carolina governor James G. Martin, the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal focuses on increasing the freedom of students to express a diverse range of ideas on college campuses, promoting mutual respect for civic institutions that support economic freedom, helping to elevate students’ literacy and overall knowledge, and ensuring that colleges and universities spend money wisely.


Article: Education in America’s Ideals: The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal: Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal is a hidden gem among institutions working to reform civic education at the university level. President Jenna A. Robinson says it was founded . . . Read more.

The Constitutional Studies and Tocqueville Programs

Led by Associate Professor Vincent Phillip Muñoz, the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies and the Tocqueville Program at the University of Notre Dame give students a background in American constitutional and political history, including a focus on religious liberty, and also the opportunity to discuss important topics with notable speakers and leaders.

Article: The Constututional Studies and Tocqueville Programs: Making Republican Citizens: Two programs at the University of Notre Dame seek to instill in undergraduates a knowledge of and respect for civic education and institutions that support a free people. The Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies and The Tocqueville Program . . . Read more.

Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism

Founded by Professor C. Bradley Thompson, the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism aims to teach undergraduate students at Clemson University the moral and political foundations of capitalism, its importance in maintaining a free society, and how it has improved the lives of billions of people around the globe.


Article: Teaching the Moral Foundations of Capitalism, One Student at a Time: Professor C. Bradley Thompson of Clemson University works each day to rebut the still-popular teachings of Karl Marx. "America’s cultural elite harbors an anti-capitalist bias” due to Marx’s rhetorical success, Thompson says, but capitalism remains the most just . . . Read more.

Ethics & Public Policy Center 

The Ethics and Public Policy Center is Washington, D.C.'s "premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy." Led by President Ryan T. Anderson, EPPC features an ecumenical group of Fellows who work to defend the principles of the inherent dignity of the human person, justice, the rule of law, and limited government.


Article: A New Chapter for the Ethics and Public Policy Center: On Monday, noted scholar Ryan T. Anderson became the sixth president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington’s "premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy." Formerly the William E. Simon senior research . . . Read more.

The Fund for American Studies

Founded in 1967 by Charles Edison, the son of famed inventor Thomas Alva Edison, The Fund for American Studies is aimed at winning "over each new generation to the ideas of liberty, limited government, and free markets” Offering over 20 programs designed for students and young journalists, TFAS teaches students how to safegaurd the principles of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution by cultivating the "don't tread on me" virtues of a free people.


Article: Fortifying the American Mind: The Fund for American Studies: "We take seriously the idea that a republic cannot long survive without a virtuous citizenry,” says Brenda Hafera of The Fund for American Studies. TFAS’s mission is to “win over each new generation to the ideas of liberty, limited government, and free markets” by offering educational programs . . . Read more.

The Jack Miller Center

Chicago-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Jack Miller founded the Jack Miller Center in 2004 in order to reinvigorate the study of “America’s founding principles and history, an education vital to thoughtful and engaged citizenship.” JMC works to achieve that goal by building a growing network of young scholars, hosting national programs such as lectures and panels, helping grow civic institutions on college campuses, and developing programs for K-12 teachers.


  • Summer Institutes: Faculty program featuring notable scholars speaking on American political thought.
  • Partner Programs: Regional civic institutions that teach American principles on college campuses.
  • The Constitutionalist: Blog featuring an interdisclipinary group of scholars discussing topics in constitutionalism.
  • COVID-19 Resources: Offers curriculum, videos, a First Amendment library, and more.

Article: The Jack Miller Center Works to Reinvigorate American Civics: "Furthering the American experiment in self-government – ‘the last best hope on earth,’ as Abraham Lincoln said – begins in the classroom,” says Jack Miller Center president Michael Andrews. JMC works with professors and civic institutions . . . Read more.

Hertog Foundation

Offering residential and online seminars for undergraduates and recent college graduates, the Hertog Foundation gives students the opporunity to learn about America, warts and all. Founded by the philanthropist Roger Hertog, the Foundation aims to counterbalance hyper-specialization in the academy and ideology-infused college courses through topical courses led by experts in political thought and foreign affairs.


  • Political Studies Program: Selective, summer-long residential fellowship on politics and public policy.
  • War Studies Program: Rigorous two-week seminar on warfare and military doctrine run by ISW.
  • Security & Strategy Seminar: Expert-guided discussion on foreign affairs and the principles of statecraft.
  • Hertog Online: Digital resource offering lectures, links to books and essential essays, sample syllabi, and more. 

Article: The Hertog Foundation Passes the Blessings of Liberty to Future Generations: "How do we confer the wisdom of the American Founding to future generations? According to philanthropist and investor Roger Hertog, this is the central question that should animate anyone who cares about preserving America. Civic education is naturally close . . . Read more.

Hillsdale College

Founded in 1844, President Larry Arnn says it is Hillsdale College’s mission “to educate all, regardless of nation, color, or sex, in order to secure the blessings of religious and civil liberty.” Through its classical core curriculum, online courses, graduate schools, and internship opporunties, Hillsdale looks to create the next generation of citizens who can live up to the demands of republican citizenship.


Article: Hillsdale College Teaches the Principles of a Free Society: "Not since the Civil War has there been as urgent a need for civics education and the philosophical principles that are essential to a free society,” states Hillsdale College president Larry Arnn. Acting on these convictions, Arnn and Matthew Spalding, the dean of . . . Read more.

The Claremont Institute

A think tank founded in 1979, the Claremont Institute is fomenting a counterreolution to recover civic education through teaching, writing, and litigation by resotring "the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life."


Article: The Claremont Institute's Counterrevolution to Save America: Claremont Institute president Ryan Williams says that American civic education faces an acute crisis. In his estimation, essentially every institution – the vast complex of media, Big Tech, Hollywood, Fortune 500 companies, and education and government bureaucracies . . . Read more

Educating for American Democracy

Educating for American Democracy is a cross-ideological coalition of over 300 scholars, educators, students, and administrators funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Department of Education. Their efforts produced the EAD Roadmap, a framework for improving K-12 civic and history education in the United States.


Article: A Roadmap for Improving American Democracy: "American civic education should teach students how to be citizens” and help them find their place both in the “country and in the world,” says Bill of Rights Institute president David Bobb. He argues that the recently released “Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy,” an “inquiry-based . . . Read more.

Liberty Fund

Founded by businessman Pierre Goodrich in 1960, Liberty Fund is a private educational institution based in Indianapolis that, according to Law & Liberty editor Richard Reinsch, works “to keep alive research and discussion on ideas of liberty and responsibility.” Liberty Fund offers events and conferences for students, teachers, and professionals and four webportals that feature a vast library of classic texts, articles and essays, and podcasts.


  • The Online Library of Liberty: Vast archive featuring classic works and secondary scholarly resources.
  • Law & Liberty: Articles, essays, and book reviews that explore the classical liberal tradition.
  • EconLib: Explores liberty through its articles, blog, and the EconTalk podcast.
  • Adam Smith Works: Lesson plans, books, and pedagogical tips on teaching about capitalism.

Article: Liberty Fund's Mission More Vital Than Ever: "The rise of critical race theory, along with the popularity of the New York Times’s 1619 Project, presents a serious challenge to the concept of “E Pluribus Unum.” According to Richard Reinsch, the editor of Liberty Fund’s Law & Liberty portal, what should be a clear-eyed and sober debate . . . Read more.

Intercollegiate Stuides Institute

In the words of president Johnny Burtka, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute looks to become "America's university" by providing students who will be future leaders in academia, business, and government an education grounded in the canonical texts of Western civilization. ISI offers events, conferences, students chapters, a quarterly journal, online resources, and more.


  • Join ISI Communities: Students and faculty can become members of ISI's growing network.
  • Modern Age: Quarterly journal featuring thoughtful essays on politics and modernity.
  • Honors Program: Undergraduates can explore the meaning of American liberty.
  • Events: Discover upcoming conferences, webinars, debates, and more.
  • Online Bookstore: Read books on American themes from distinguished authors.

Article: Working to Becoming America's University: the Intercollegiage Studies Institute: According to Intercollegiate Studies Institute president Johnny Burtka, “Free societies don’t work without virtuous and educated people.” The American republic relies on a “citizenry that can engage in politics at every level . . . Read more.

The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education

Named after a Wisconsin entrepreneur who cared deeply about the state of civic education in the United States, the Knight Center at College of the Ozarks focuses on instilling civic knowledge and igniting patriotic sentiment in students through classroom learning, honoring veterans, and offering opportunities to visit national historic landmarks.


Article: Giving Back to the Country: The William S. Knight Center: Parents looking to inspire a prudent love of country among their college-bound teens should explore The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education, opening later this year at College of the Ozarks. Director Andrew T. Bolger says that The Knight Center . . . Read more.

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy prepares future leaders through a graduate civics education. Under the leadership of Dean Pete Peterson, the School molds responsible, patriotic public servants through a curriculum that balances a "Great Books’" education featuring coursework in history and philosophy with the latest methods of policy analysis.


Article: The Pepperdine School of Public Policy Inculcates Civic Responsibility: "The teaching of civics and American history must be framed as a welcome to all who would seek to be engaged citizens," says Pete Peterson, dean of The Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP). Civic education, he notes, should produce “humble and passionate citizens . . . Read more.

Thales Academy and College

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Luddy founded Thales Academy and Thales College “to provide an opportunity for students to excel academically and to be molded into future leaders.” Thales looks to instill integrity and a well-formed character among students so that they can be good members of their families and local communities and have a sense of contribution to the world beyond themselves.


  • Thales Academy: Network of preK-12 low-cost classical schools in three states.
  • Thales College: High-quality, affordable undergraduate institution based in Raligh, NC that opens in fall 2022.

Article: Classical Schools Designed to Produce Well-Rounded Citizens: According to entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Luddy, many students today not only lack a basic knowledge of the “American system, including the lives and deeds of the Founders and the brilliance of the Constitution,” but also . . . Read more.

James Wilson Institute

Founder Hadley Arkes and his team at the James Wilson Institute work to “restore to a new generation of lawyers, judges, and citizens the understanding of the American Founders about the first principles of our law and the moral grounds of their own rights.” The Institute emphasizes the natural law foundations of the U.S. Constitution through multiple fellowships, essays, podcasts, and more.


  • James Wilson Fellowship: Annual weeklong seminar for young appellate lawyers and law students.
  • James Wilson Senior Seminar: Biannual conference that explores natural law jurisprudence at a deeper level.
  • Anchoring Truths: Website aiming to recover the grounding axioms of the Constitution.
  • Anchoring Truths Podcast: Features interviews with notable scholars on all aspects of constitutionalism.

Article: The James Wilson Institute Teaches the Moral Foundations of the Law: Should the U.S. Constitution be interpreted through the lens of the Declaration of Independence? A recent debate hosted by The Federalist Society pitting teacher and writer Hadley Arkes against University of Toledo law professor Lee Strang demonstrated that this is not . . . Read more.

Constitutional Fellows Program

A joint venture by The American Conservative and the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University, the Constitutional Fellows Program is a highly competitive three month course of study designed for Congressional staffers, journalists, and other policy professionals that illuminates the meaning of the Constitution and the prospects for its reinvigoration.


Article: Constitutional Fellows Program: Recovering the Foundation of American Political Life: Discussions of the Constitution regularly dominate cable news and political commentary, but constitutional knowledge among Americans is perhaps at a nadir. The NAEP U.S. history assessment finds each year that more than half . . . Read more.

RealClear's American Civics portal explores the principles and practices every patriotic citizen should know.