In an exclusive interview with Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity Education Speaker Series, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor urged educators in the United States to do their part to enliven civics education and engage students in the democratic process.
"You have to study [civics] and be taught how our system of government works," Justice O’Connor said. "And you have to be shown how each individual can be part of it and can make things work.”
Justice O’Connor founded iCivics, an educational nonprofit that uses interactive games and other free resources to teach students about their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the United States and to understand the inner-workings of government in a civil society. iCivics does this by using games and lesson plans, and special events. One such event, the iCivics Impact Challenge, is sponsored by the Verizon Foundation and began on Oct. 3.
O’Connor also discusses her challenges, the sacrifices she made to get a start in the legal profession, and the lessons she learned from these experiences. Of course some of those experiences were disheartening:
"I called every telephone number on the bulletin board at Stanford Law School," Justice O’Connor said. "Not one of them would give me an interview. I was a woman. They wouldn't interview women. They wouldn't hire women."
The full interview is available only to Thinkfinity members, but membership is free. Find out more at www.thinkfinity.org/community.