SAN FRANCISCO—California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and a committee of civic leaders organized a summit to examine successes and barriers to increasing civic literacy in California. The Civic Learning California Summit: Making Democracy Work, will take place on February 28, from 9:30 12:30 p.m., at the Secretary of State Auditorium, 1500 11th Street, in Sacramento.

The summit agenda features U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who will be the summit keynote speaker. She brings her national leadership on the civic education crisis to California. In addition, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye will provide opening and closing remarks.

“We hope this summit raises awareness about the important role and need to improve civic learning so Californians fully understand how our democracy works,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. “The strength of our democratic institutions relies on the public’s understanding of those institutions. Democracy depends on the civic engagement of its people.”

Additional speakers at the summit include Senate President Pro tem Darrell Steinberg, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and other leaders from education, law, labor, business, and community organizations. 

The summit will also recognize the winners of the Civic Learning Award for California public high schools. The awards will spotlight successful efforts to engage students in civic learning and identify models that can be replicated in other schools. The award program is co-sponsored by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Led by the Chief Justice, the Civic Learning Summit was organized by its steering committee, which included leaders and experts from the legal and education community. Funding for the summit is generously provided by the California Bar Foundation and State Bar of California.