Civics In Action

 Illustration Credit: James Gulliver Hancock

Young Thug's RICO Trial Has Begun; The Outcome of His Trial Will Determine the Limits of Our First Amendment Right to Free Speech


A man in wire-rimmed glasses and a dark suit sits in a courtroom between two men in suits with light beards.

Arvin Temkar / Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via AP

Famous rapper Young Thug has been indicted with several felony charges by the Fulton County District Attorney's Office under the RICO Act. Young Thug's song lyrics are at the center of this trial as prosecutors aim to prove that he freely rapped about crimes he and his co-conspirators committed. This trial will determine how art and music can be used in the courtroom and if there are limits to artistic expression. Read the New York Times Article about the case here

First Lady Jill Biden, Nickelodeon, & iCivics Roll Out New Animated Series Well-Versed


First Lady Jill Biden at the Independence Visitors Center in Philadelphia

Jessica Griffin/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

First Lady Jill Biden took a trip to the Independence Visitors Center in Philadelphia on National Civics Day 2023 to introduce a new animated series about civics called Well-Versed.  This new series is designed to teach kids about democracy and start important conversations about the world we live in. Well-Versed will premiere on Nickelodeon and is in partnership with the education nonprofit iCivics. Read more about the First Lady's visit to Philadelphia here, and check out the animated series here.

PA State House of Representatives Working to Pass Civics Ed Legislation


Pennsylvania House of RepresentativesKalim A Bhatti / The Philadelphia Inquirer

Our state house of representatives has been working to pass legislation surrounding civics education. House Bill 1720 and House Bill 259 will mandate 60% proficiency on a civics education assessment such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration test as a graduation requirement for students in grades  7-12. The former also mandates the tracking and evaluation of student performance, Read more about HB170 here, and HB259 here. Will this legislation make a difference in low levels of civic literacy among Pennsylvania students?