My research shows that the “patriotic education” promoted by the 1776 report has many similarities with existing traditional high school civics and U.S. history curriculums throughout the country. My research also suggests that this material can shape whether young people get politically involved.

Matt Nelsen, UChicago postdoctoral scholar, GenForward associate
Matt Nelsen studied the impact of civic education on political participation, and found that civic education appeared to increase Black and Latinx students’ sense of their potential political power.
Using data from the Black Youth Project‘s 2005 Youth Culture Survey and original research, Nelsen writes that Trump’s 1776 Commission–now disbanded under Biden–ultimately promoted existing U.S. history lessons being taught across the nation. Thus, the Biden administration should actively promote civic education that incorporates historical collective actions by people of color to promote racial justice–not just disband the regressive actions of the Trump era.  Read the full piece here.

If [Biden's] administration does wish to promote racial equity, it might consider promoting a more inclusive and multidimensional civic education that acknowledges the contributions of people of color and the democratic importance of collective action.

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