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Special Event

Foundations of Civic Culture

The Importance of Teachers to Free Speech, Civil Discourse, Economics, and Public Policy

Dates and Times
January 26, 2024
6 — 9:15 PM MST
- January 27, 2024
8 AM — 3 PM MST

University of Arizona Phoenix Biomedical Campus
Piper Auditorium
435 North 5th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Featured Speakers
Romina Boccia
Romina Boccia

Director of Budget and Entitlement Policy, Cato Institute

Allan Carey cropped
Allan Carey

Director, Sphere Education Initiatives

Sarah Harris
Sarah Harris

National Constitution Center

Rep. Quang Nguyen
Rep. Quang Nguyen

Arizona House of Representatives


Back for its second year in Phoenix, Arizona, Sphere Education Initiatives and the University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom are pleased to present Foundations of Civic Culture: The Importance of Teachers to Free Speech, Civil Discourse, Economics, and Public Policy on January 26 – 27, 2024.

Join world‐​class educators from around the southwest and explore contemporary challenges to free speech and civil discourse in the classroom and address challenging topics like the future of civic education and the growing threat of debt and spending to a prosperous society. This hands‐​on, application‐​focused summit will include interactive panel discussions, expert presentations, and breakout sessions that provide knowledge, tools, and strategies to address pressing issues with nationally renowned scholars and academics. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to engage with colleagues from the region and beyond.

This year’s summit features a Friday night Salute to Teachers dinner along with a keynote presentation by Romina Boccia. On Saturday, Arizona Rep. Quang Nguyen will deliver a special keynote on the importance of free speech and civil discourse, complemented by a screening of his oral history, Communism in Vietnam, which the Arizona Board of Education approved for use as a resource to help schools prepare students to be civically responsible and knowledgeable adults. Rep. Nguyen authored the law that created an oral history database that paints portraits of patriotism through compelling first‐​person accounts of other governing philosophies compared to those of the United States.

Event registration and meals are provided at no charge. Attendees will receive a stipend and professional development hours. Arizona educators traveling more than 60 miles are also eligible for housing assistance.


Built especially for high school teachers and administrators, this free event offers the following benefits:

  • 8 hours of professional development
  • Free classroom resources and books
  • 3 meals included
  • $150 stipend upon completion


Friday, January 26

6 — 7 PM MST

Registration and Opening Reception

7 — 7:30 PM MST

Opening Remarks and Teacher Recognition

7:30 — 8:15 MST


8:15 — 9:15 MST

Opening Keynote – “Debt, Spending, and the Future of American Prosperity”

Romina Boccia, Director of Budget and Entitlement Policy, Cato Institute

Saturday, January 27

8 — 9 AM MST

Breakfast and Late Registration

9 — 10 AM MST

Panel Conversation – “Crisis and Opportunity in Civic Education”

Allan Carey, Director, Sphere Education Initiatives
Sarah Harris, Director of Education, National Constitution Center

10 — 10:30 AM MST


10:30 — 11:30 AM MST


To Be Announced

11:30 AM — 1 PM MST

Lunch and Keynote Address

Rep. Quang Nguyen

1 — 2 PM MST


Bringing Civil Discourse to Your Classroom, Sphere Education Initiatives

Teacher Resources from Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, Sylwia Cavalcant

2 — 2:30 PM MST

Closing Remarks

2:30 — 3 PM MST

Stipend and Certificate Distribution