Constitution Day Dialogue Initiative

Minnesota Campus Compact worked with campus leaders and community partners to launch a series of local dialogues across the state around Constitution Day, September 17, 2018. Learn about campus’s programs here, or read presidents’ take on why Constitution Day and bridging differences through dialogue matters in this series of op-eds.

About Constitution Day

All educational institutions that receive Federal funds are required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students. According to the U.S. Senate, Constitution Day was established “to encourage all Americans to learn more about the Constitution.”  Congress established Constitution Week in 1956 “to begin each year on September 17th, the date in 1787 when delegates to the Convention signed the Constitution. In 2004, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia included key provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2005 designating September 17th of each year as Constitution Day and requiring public schools and governmental offices to provide educational programs to promote a better understanding of the Constitution.”

Why Dialogue

In a context of polarization and distrust, conversations about shared values and our nation’s founding documents are deeply important for developing collaborative relationships, Constitutional knowledge, civic agency, and our democracy’s future. Over the last year, Minnesota Campus Compact (MNCC) has worked with campus leaders and community partners to launch a series of local dialogues across the state with the goal of increasing students’ capacities to listen respectfully to the ideas of others and engage in both constructive and critical discussion of public questions.

Planned Activities

Each participating college or university determines its specific plans. Dialogues are organized using whatever dialogue models and addressing whatever specific topics the local team determines is best. Read more about each participating campus’s plans here. 

Let’s work together to build an inclusive, powerful culture of civic and community engagement. To request more information, please contact Sinda Nichols at sinda {at} mncampuscompact(.)org.