Our Civic Security

Civic Security

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I want to open by wishing everyone in the network a happy Inauguration Day, one of the most important days that we celebrate as Americans. Unlike any other time in living memory, we are bearing witness to unprecedented challenges to our democratic system. Many of them strike at the very heart of what we all deeply believe, and all of them reinforce our belief in the importance of our collective work.

I’ve been very fortunate to speak to so many members of our network these past weeks. What continues to impress me is the resilience shown by each and every person who, without exception, has rededicated themselves to ensuring that our core mission moves forward. Our American democracy is built on incredible strengths, but also comprises a number of historical and contemporary weaknesses. Fundamental to those strengths and at the core of the work we do at the Center is to ensure that a constitutional and civic education is available to all—from the foundations of our system of government to teaching how to engage and make change possible.

There is little doubt in my mind that we now face a challenge in our civic security. Without a dedicated effort to increase civic knowledge, strengthen civic institutions, and improve mechanisms for civil exchange, we will fail at our mission to ensure a resilient body politic here in the United States. Without a strong body politic, the American experiment will be on precarious terrain. As core to our future as any other national security imperative, our civic security has been at risk for years because of the decline of attention and investment in civic education and engagement. We must all recognize our role in changing the course of our future.

As I noted in my statement after January 6, never before in our history has the work of our organization, and the work of our sister organizations, been more vital. We will continue to share resources from the Center and our greater community for the benefit of our fellow educators and the public. We also join everyone who is calling for a renewed dedication to the fields of history, civics, social studies, and constitutional law. Put bluntly, our nation’s civic security depends on it.

I wish everyone a safe and healthy start to the new year, and look forward to working together in 2021 to address these pressing and unprecedented challenges.

Most Sincerely,


Christopher R. Riano
President, Center for Civic Education




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