A newly formed task force created by the Indiana Bar Foundation hopes to improve civic health in the Hoosier state. By doing so, the task force says it aims to increase voter turnout, boost volunteerism and improve political tolerance in Indiana.
The foundation says the task force will study methods of instruction, programs and educational outcomes to improve civic education opportunities.
Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch will chair the task force.
“Indiana must put a priority on civic education for Hoosiers of all ages and backgrounds so they can be informed on the issues and engaged in the process,” said Crouch.
The idea of the task force stems from a recommendation from the 2019 Indiana Civic Health Index. The index measures how active citizens are engaged in their communities using a variety of data points.
When the Indiana Bar Foundation released the results of the index last November, it showed Indiana has improved in areas such as volunteering but continues to lag in voter registration and turnout.
It showed the Hoosier state continues to rank among the bottom 10 of all states on voting and bottom third on voter registration
The task force hopes to “move the needle” on those engagement levels.
The Lumina Foundation awarded a grant to the Indiana Bar Foundation to support the work of the civic education task force.
Below are the members of the task force:
- Chair: Suzanne Crouch, Indiana Lieutenant Governor
- Dr. Lemuel Watson, Dean, Indiana University School of Education
- Senator J.D. Ford, Indiana Senate District 29
- Senator R. Michael Young, Indiana Senate District 35
- Representative Tonya Pfaff, Indiana House District 43
- Representative Tony Cook, Indiana House District 32
- Hon. Connie Lawson, Indiana Secretary of State
- Hon. Loretta Rush, Chief Justice, Indiana Supreme Court
- Amy Dudas, President, Indiana Bar Foundation
- Scott Barnhart, President-Elect, Indiana Bar Foundation
- Janet Chandler, Social Studies Teacher, Hamilton Southeastern High School
- Dr. Laura Hammack, Superintendent, Brown County School Corporation
- Dennis Bland, President, Center for Leadership Development
- Dr. Elizabeth Osborn, President, Indiana Council on Social Studies
- Kevin Brinegar, President & CEO, Indiana Chamber of Commerce
- Dr. Eva Zygmunt, Professor, Ball State University Teachers College
- Hon. Randall Shepard, Former Chief Justice of Indiana
- Hon. Greg Zoeller, Former Indiana Attorney General
- Hon. Lee Hamilton, Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
- Bill Moreau, President, Indiana Citizen Education Foundation