Rebuilding American Civics--Spring 2023
At a time when civics engagement and civic education are more important than ever, IM Education and the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership are once again proud to offer their popular series of Rebuilding American Civics classes, which are free and open to the public.
Classes will begin with a lesson to provide context and will be grounded in the history and fundamentals of the American government. An open discussion about the topic will follow. As always, we encourage diverse viewpoints and ideas about these topics, as one of our main goals is developing civil discourse and critical thinking.
Sessions start at 6:30 pm and the dates are as follows:
Wednesday, Feb 15 - U.S. Congressional leadership and how Congress operates
Wednesday, Feb 22 - State legislative update with Wisconsin State Reps. Jill Billings and Steve Doyle
Wednesday, Mar 1 - How are Wisconsin State Supreme Court justices selected, and is this the best way to select judges?
Wednesday, Mar 8 - Writing an effective Letter to the Editor with Rusty Cunningham, Publisher, La Crosse Tribune
**Next Round of RAC Classes:
Tuesday, Mar 21 - Congress and Casework-Jill Grennan and Jackie O’Brien, caseworkers for Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District office (R-Van Orden), will join us to discuss casework, how members of Congress interface with local communities, and how citizens can best work with their elected representatives and staff to navigate government issues
Tuesday, Mar 28 - Free Speech and Universities-The University of Wisconsin recently released the results of as system-widesurvey, which highlighted some of the challenges facing campuses and free speech. Dr. Jim Szymalak, from UW La Crosse, a recognized expert on free speech issues, will join us to discuss the survey results.
Tuesday, Apr 4 - Open Session-It’s Election Day in Wisconsin. Bring your questions to class about WI and national politics and government, as well as current affairs, and we will discuss them.
Tuesday, Apr 11 - Congress, the President, and Foreign Relations-International matters have been in the news a great deal as of late. In this session, we will discuss the constitutional and institutional context for congressional and executive action in foreign relations, including military action, as well as current international affair
*In-person sessions will be held at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center (506 Main Street, La Crosse, WI 54601)*
Thank you to the La Crosse County Historical Society (LCHS) for hosting the in-person sessions. The LCHS does not endorse any views presented or shared during class sessions.
These classes are offered a la carte meaning you can take one or as many as you'd like! Totally up to you!
Sessions are offered a la carte; feel free to attend one or more sessions.
When you register please indicate which sessions you will be attending
Please register by contacting Kelli Jerve at Kelli@inspiredmindsedu.org
Meet the Facilitator:
Founder of IM Education
Adjunct Professor, Viterbo and UW La Crosse
Creator, Rebuilding American Civics
Sam Scinta is the publisher of Fulcrum Publishing, a leading independent book publisher. He received his JD from the University of Denver and worked as a public finance attorney, before joining Fulcrum as associate publisher; soon thereafter, he was named president and publisher. In 2015, Sam founded IM Education, Inc., a nonprofit focusing on education programming. He is a lecturer in the Servant Leadership Program at Viterbo University and the Political Science Department at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. In 2021, in partnership with Viterbo University’s Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, Sam created Rebuilding American Civics, a program designed to provide civics education and discussion for community members. He currently serves on several boards in the Western Wisconsin region.
Previous Class Titles:
- Truth and Politics
- Election Reform
- Civil Disobedience
- Why free speech matters
- Understanding the Supreme Court
- Wisconsin Government and Politics
- Understanding Civil Liberties—Privacy Rights
- The role of the media in American government
- The role of the President in American Government
- Interest groups and getting involved in American political issues
What Participants Are Saying
“As a long-ago political science major, I don’t remember those subjects ever being taught with such practicality and vigor. I observed others in the class listening with rapt attention, especially coming alive in the question and discussion portions.”
“I have participated in both the winter and spring sessions of Rebuilding American Civic. Participants were from a wide variety of our community, including recent college graduates, retirees, former elected officials, and citizens who just wanted a better understanding of civics and the tools to talk about issues in a safe, nonjudgmental arena so as to learn to better understand and discuss topics with those with differing viewpoints.”
“Every morning I watch the news, and after participating in these classes, I understand nuances and complexities that I had not even noticed before.”
"Instructor Sam Scinta’s ability to tie together current events and history is something you won’t want to miss!"