Started with more than $1 million in donations from the International Association of Defense Counsel and the MacArthur and Ford Foundations, the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Fund will support in perpetuity iCivics’ mission to create engaged citizens through the use of K-12 digital games and teaching tools
iCivics, the education nonprofit founded by Sandra Day O’Connor to teach civics to K-12 students through the use of digital games and curricula, has established the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Fund to provide consistent, yearly support for the organization.
O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009 to reinvigorate civic learning and to provide students with the tools they need for active participation and democratic action as engaged citizens, and teachers with the materials and support to achieve this.
To date, the organization has created 21 digital games and tools that have been played by over 7 million students more than 30 million times, including more than 8 million times during the last school year alone. More than half of American middle school teachers are registered iCivics users, a list of 70,000 teachers that is growing, making iCivics the largest digital civic instructional resource in the country. iCivics games place students in different civic roles and give them agency to address real-world problems and issues. They are rooted in clear learning objectives and integrated with lesson plans and support materials.
The endowment fund was established with more than $1 million from donors including the Foundation of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and other generous anonymous donors, and was announced at the inaugural Seneca Women Global Leadership Forum on Wednesday, April 15, in a ceremony honoring O’Connor for her work in civic education.
"I am thrilled to announce the launch of the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Fund to ensure that her vision lives on in perpetuity,” iCivics Executive Director Louise Dubé, said. “We are grateful to the IADC, which has been our partner from the beginning, to the MacArthur, Ford and Rockefeller foundations for their incredibly generous support. Giving to our endowment fund is an excellent way of making a lasting investment in the legacy of Sandra Day O’Connor to our country. As the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, Sandra Day O’Connor is our national icon and treasure.”
Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, O’Connor is the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. She is recognized as a trailblazer on issues such as equality for women. In the years since
her retirement from the Supreme Court in 2006, O’Connor has devoted her efforts to ensuring that America’s children are educated about how to become engaged citizens.
“Democracy is a sustained conversation among citizens about how best to govern ourselves. But people cannot participate in that conversation if they are not fluent in the topic,” O’Connor said. “We are at a critical juncture when the central purposes of government and civil society are being questioned and divisive political rhetoric is turning off people from civic engagement. The way forward starts in schools.”
The Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Fund will provide a dependable, increasing source of income to support iCivics’ mission to re-imagine how civics is taught in America, reaching every student in all 50 states with quality civic education materials. The overall endowment fund comprises internally restricted funds allocated to the endowment by iCivics’ board of directors and externally restricted funds contributed by donors to specific funds within the overall endowment fund.
If you would like to make a contribution to the Sandra Day O'Connor Legacy Fund, click here for the contribution form.