Our mission is to guide public schools to encourage students to become civically engaged and intentionally inclusive.

Since 2015, the Civic Education Center has guided US History teachers, in grades 5, 8 and 11, to use civil dialogue, inquiry and exciting civic service projects to deliver the curriculum. We serve 17 teachers and 1,600 students in Fresno, Sanger, Caruthers and Fowler.

We have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside…
Civic education, like all education, is a continuing enterprise and conversation.

John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice of the United States December 31, 2019

Students analyze a specific school or community problem or issue using appropriate disciplinary lenses from civics, economics, geography, and history; and take and evaluate actions on the issue.
HISTORY SOCIAL SCIENCE FRAMEWORK; Chapter 13 (CA Department of Education, 2017)

The Democracy School Program provides:

  • 3 training days for teachers, including the Student Civic Service Summit at Scout Island.
  • Site visitations to collaborate with teachers to develop and implement civic service projects.
  • Provide community experts to support the civic inquiry process and to help plan projects.
  • On request, staff will teach lessons, lead dialogues and model best practices.
  • Teachers get a resource binder and access to online resources with training videos.

Upcoming Events

April 22, 2020 ; Superintendents Breakfast Meeting

Location: Smittcamp Alumni House (5081 Matoian Way, Fresno, CA 93710)

Nation is Facing a Civic Crisis

Read the Valley Voices editorial by John Minkler, Nation is Facing a Crisis, about the Democracy School Program.

Democracy School Program 2019 Revue

See highlights of the 2018-19 Democracy School Program in 12 schools in Fresno, Fowler and Sanger School Districts.

Democracy School Program Showcase

See highlights of student civic service projects from 10 elementary, middle and high schools in Fresno County at the Showcase at Sunnyside High School on May 13, 2019.

Democracy Program Podcast (28 minutes)

Looking at Social Justice: The Civic Education Center’s Democracy Program

Dr. John Minkler shares the history and future expansion of the Democracy School Program.

The Social Justice Podcast with Stephen Morris

Dr. Stephen Morris interviewed by Jim Grant as part of the Social Justice Podcast series.  Steve talks about his story with social justice and education, co-founding the Civic Education Center.  


The California Seal of Civic Engagement, from CA law AB24, will be awarded for “demonstrated excellence in civics education… and voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities.”  The Civic Education Center is working with Fresno Unified School District to develop a regional award to recognize civic knowledge, skills, and service for graduating seniors.  Students who earn this award will have an advantage in job applications and with college applications and scholarships.  It also gives education and community leaders an indication of how many graduates demonstrate civic competence.  It becomes a tool to measure the effectiveness of civic education in high schools.

Contact Us

Bitwise South Stadium
700 Van Ness Avenue, add Suite 17, Fresno, CA 93721