National Constitution Center Series of Major Initiatives

Posted by National Constitution Center on September 20, 2022

This is an exciting time at the National Constitution Center. As we prepared for Constitution Day on September 17, we launched a series of major initiatives to expand our reach as America’s leading platform for constitutional education leading up to America’s 250th in 2026.

We launched our Constitution 101 core curriculum and Founders’ Library of historic documents. More than a year in the making, this is an unparalleled opportunity for learners of all ages to explore the basic principles of American freedom and the core constitutional texts of American history, from the founding to today.

Constitution 101 is a 15-week course that represents our introduction to everything you need to know about the Constitution. There’s a self-guided course for learners of all ages and a high school curriculum for teachers to bring into their classrooms. The course includes videos and recommended reading from primary sources, all found in our new Founders’ Library. Selected by America’s leading historians and law professors of diverse perspectives, the Founders’ Library contains nearly 170 historical texts and 50 landmark Supreme Court cases, from the Founding era through the civil rights era. For an introduction to the Founders’ Library, check out my conversation last week on the We the People podcast with Paul Rahe and Jonathan Gienapp, two of the scholars who selected five documents each to highlight. As you explore the library, click on a document or an era that interests you and let the learning begin.

All of these new offerings are hosted on our newly redesigned website, which makes it easier for visitors to find our podcasts, videos, and other timely content, making it a one-stop constitutional hub you can return to again and again. And it’s so meaningful to launch Constitution 101 just ahead of Constitution Day and a robust week-long celebration at the NCC with live and virtual events. On September 16, among other Constitution Day events, we hosted an in-person and livestreamed keynote conversation on originalism with Emily Bazelon, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, Rich Lowry, editor-in-chief of National Review, Steven Mazie of The Economist, and Ilan Wurman of Arizona State University, exploring whether the Constitution should be interpreted in light of its original understanding.

To conclude our week-long celebration of Constitution Day and to celebrate the launch of our Constitution 101 course, on Friday, September 23, Justice Stephen Breyer will join us for a private conversation with students about the importance of civics education in America. We’re so excited that Justice Breyer has joined Justice Neil Gorsuch as honorary co-chair of the NCC.

This is such an exciting and meaningful time for constitutional education at the NCC and there’s much more to come as we work to reach learners everywhere with our nonpartisan model for learning about the Constitution and engaging in civil dialogue.

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