Teachers College’s Center for Educational Equity (CEE), in partnership with the statewide DemocracyReady NY Coalition, will launch a webinar series in March that will explore the role of civic education as a means to grow trust in American democratic institutions. 

The series, titled “Mending the Fabric of Democracy: Teaching Civic Readiness,” will be offered over four consecutive Thursdays in March. (Click here to register to attend.) It will provide opportunities for academics, youth leaders, K-12 educators, and lawmakers to share thoughts on media literacy, classroom discussions of controversial issues and youth civic action.

Michael Rebell and Jessica Wolffe

THE CONVENERS Michael Rebell, Executive Director of TC's Center for Educational Equity (CEE), and Jessica Wolff, CEE Policy Director. (Photo: TC Archives)

“Recent events have vividly shown that trust in our nation’s democratic institutions and constitutional values is frayed,” DemocracyReady NY said in a statement. “The fabric of our democracy is clearly in need of repair. This timely webinar series explores how together we can begin to mend our democracy. Civic education K-12 is key.”

DemocracyReady NY is a nonpartisan, multigenerational consortium of organizations and individuals convened by CEE Executive Director Michael Rebell, Professor of Law & Educational Practice, and CEE Policy Director Jessica Wolff. It promotes New York students’ right under the state constitution to an education that allows them to develop “the knowledge, skills, experiences, and dispositions needed to engage, today and in the future, as effective civic participants.”

The fabric of our democracy is clearly in need of repair. This timely webinar series explores how together we can begin to mend our democracy. Civic education K-12 is key.

—DemocracyRead NY

The webinar sessions will take place from 4-5:30 p.m. on the following dates:

March 4 - Developing Media Literacy: Teaching Students to Know Fact from Fiction.

March 11 -Discussing Controversial Issues: When Classrooms Are Contentious.

March 18 - Igniting Youth Civic Action: Making a Difference In and Out of School.

March 25 -Call to Action: A Conversation with Leaders and Decision-makers. 

In addition to Rebell, speakers in the “Mending the Fabric” webinars will include:

  • Madina Amber, Senior, Urban Assembly School for Leadership and Empowerment, New York Youth Civics Initiative, Next Generation Politics
  • Thomas Bailey, President, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Lauren Collet-Gildard, High School Social Studies Teacher, Arlington High School, Adjunct Faculty BardMAT, and PhD Candidate, University at Albany, State University of New York
  • Martine Dosa, Senior, Nottingham High School, Syracuse, DemocracyReady NY youth member
  • Krislynn Dengler, Superintendent, South Kortright (NY) Central School District
  • Rashid Duroseau, Civics Program Director, Democracy Prep Public Schools 
  • Shira E. Epstein, Associate Professor, School of Education, City College of New York
  • Jenna FlanaganJournalist and Host, MetroFocusWNET New York Public Media
  • Amber Joseph, Eighth-grade History Teacher, East Side Community School, Manhattan; Facing History and Ourselves partner
  • Numa Khan, Senior, Shaker High School, North Colonie School District
  • Brett Levy, Associate Professor, University at Albany, State University of New York, and host of the Education for Sustainable Democracy podcast 
  • Paula McAvoy, Assistant Professor, Social Studies Education, Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, North Carolina State University; co-author (with Diana Hess) of The Political Classroom
  • Thea MacFawn, Founder and Co-Director, Capitol Region Institute for Human Rights
  • Shelley B. Mayer, Chair, Education Committee, New York State Senate 
  • Michael Rebell, Executive Director, Center for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University, and convener of DemocracyReady NY 
  • Oliver RobinsonSuperintendent, Shenendehowa (NY) Central School District
  • Betty A. Rosa, New York State Education Commissioner 
  • Linda B. Rosenthal, New York Assemblymember, 67th Assembly District
  • Stephanie Rowley, Provost, Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University 
  • Edward Sanchez, SeniorFort Hamilton High School, DemocracyReady youth leader, Citizens Committee for Children YouthAction member, and YVote member
  • Howard Schneider, Executive Director, Center for News Literacy, Stony Brook University, founding dean of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism, and former editor of Newsday 
  • Ahmed Sesay, plaintiff, Cook v. Raimondo, 2020 graduate Providence Public Schools
  • Chris Sperry, national award-winning media-literacy educator, Director of Curriculum & Staff Development, Project Look Sharp, Ithaca College 
  • Kelly Wetherbee, School Library Media Specialist, Shaker High School, North Colonie School District; Co-Director, Capital Region Institute for Human Rights
  • Jennifer Wolfe, High School Social Studies Teacher, Oceanside High School, Long Island; New York State Teacher of the Year for 2021