Civic Awareness Series with Cantigny

Civic Awareness Series with Cantigny

Civic Awareness Series with Wheaton Public Library

The League of Women Voters and Cantigny Park have been presenting a Civics Awareness program since 2017. Our programs covered a variety of topics such as Campaign Finance, ERA, Fake News, Immigration, and issues before the Supreme Court. They’ve been held at the Cantigny Park Visitors Center and the McCormick mansion. Videos are available for some of the presentations. Register using the Civic Awareness Calendar

The Civic Awareness Program with Cantigny is held on the second Thursday of the month.  During the summer of 2023, the series is being held at the Wheaton Public Library.

You can watch videos of previous Civic Awareness presentations using the links on this page. Local Civic Awareness events will be in italics.


  • Ideas for Election Reform with Jim Slusher from the Daily Herald Editorial Board - Watch the video.
  • Banned Books, Intellectual Freedom, Libraries, and You with Joyce McIntosh, Assistant Program Director for the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF). Watch the video.

  • Plastic Pollution and Community Solutions with Jacquelyn Casazza, President and Co-Founder, Go Green Glen Ellyn Jen Walling, Executive Director, Illinois Environmental Council Kay McKeen, Founder and Executive Director, School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (SCARCE) Walter Willis, Executive Director of the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County.  Watch the video.
  • Supreme Court Update with Prof. Steve Schwinn, UIC. Watch the video.
  • Affordable Housing - a Look to the Future with County Board Members with Liz Chapin and  and Sam Tornatore. Watch the video.
  • Racial and Economic Justice with Audra Wilson with Audra Wilson, Director, Shriver Center on Poverty Law. Watch the video.
  • (Dis) Trust in Elections with David Hillier. Watch the video.


  • Critical Race Theory: What it is and What it isn't with Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz - Watch the video and check out these follow-up resources.
  • Critical Race Theory vs. Culturally Responsive Teaching with Dr. Erin Groth and Maurice McDavid - Watch the video.
  • 2022 Illinois General Assembly and General Election Update with Amanda Vinicky - Watch the video.
  • What's Happening in DuPage County with Lynn La Plante, Sheila Rutledge, Greg Schwarze -  Watch the video.
  • Ranked Choice Voting with Daniel Biss -  Watch the video.
  • Climate Action Plan for the Chicago Region with Edith Makra and Tim Milburn -  Watch the video.
  • Russia and the Ukraine with Dr. Richard Farkas, DePaul University - Watch the video.
  • Supreme Court Update with Prof. Steve Schwinn, UIC -  Watch the video.
  • LatinX Issues in the Suburbs with Sara Phalen and Elizabeth Cervantes -  Watch the video.
  • Preventing Violence in our Communities with Phil Andrews and Chris Paterson - Watch the video.
  • Improving Civil Discourse - The Science of Us vs. Them with Dr. Terry Wu (not recorded at the speaker's request)
  • Election Implications for Illinois and DuPage CountyPeter Hancock, Capitol News Illinois, Watch the video.


  • Personal Transformation to Become a Climate Advocate with  Mark Ailes - Watch the video.
  • The Past, Present and HOPEful Future of Fair Housing in DuPage with Evelyn Sanguinetti and Rachel Watson - Watch the video.
  • Living History - Florence Nightingale, March 11.
  • Why We Need to end Gerrymandering, Together with Madeleine Doubek, Executive Director of Change Illinois. Watch the video.
  • Supreme Court Update with Steve Schwinn, UIC Professor. Watch video.
  • The Electoral College: Is it time for it to be abolished? with Rosemary Heilemann on June 10th. Watch the video.
  • Question and Answer with Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune. Watch the video.
  • "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" Viewing
  • The Fight for Free Speech, Author - Ian Rosenberg. Watch the video.
  • American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, Author - Alex Kotlowitz. Watch the video.
  • Making HerStory Your Story, Author - Rebecca Sive. Watch the video.


  • Alice Paul - Living History Portrayal. In the living history portrayal, actress and scholar Leslie Goddard Ph.D., portrays suffragist Alice Paul.
  • The Honorable Ann Burke - Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court discusses Issues facing the judicial system (Canceled because of COVID-19).
  • Protecting Our Environment - Kay McKeen of SCARCE (by ZOOM).
  • Major Issues before the Supreme Court - Professor Steve Schwinn, John Marshall Law School. Watch the video.
  • Colonel McCormick and the 1918 Pandemic - Jeffrey Anderson, Interpretation Manager at the McCormick House. Anderson provided this video about Colonel McCormick's Involvement with the 1918 Pandemic in lieu of a formal presentation at the McCormick House.
  • What you need to know for Election 2020 - Jean Kaczmarek, DuPage County Clerk. Watch the video
  • The "Other": How dehumanization, the confirmation bias and the vividness effect perpetuate racism - Professor Jon Mueller, North Central College. Watch the video. Here is his talk with the definition of the terms he used.
  • Building Trust - How we can learn to restore trust with others?Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer. Watch the video.
  • Fighting Against Fake News: The Case for News Literacy - Peter Adams. Watch the video.
  • What now that the election is over? The best and worst case scenarios - where do we go from here?  Steve Schwinn, professor of Constitutional Law at UIC John Marshall Law School. Watch the video.
  • LatinX Issues in the Suburbs - Sarah Phalen and Elizabeth Cervantes, August 11th.


  • What it is like being a Freshman Congressman. Sean Casten of the Sixth District discussed his experiences as anew congressman and issues before the Congress. Watch the video.
  • Illinois Politics Today. Rick Pearson, Chief Political Reporter at Chicago Tribune. 
  • An Evening with DuPage County Board Members. Tim Elliot, Jim Zay and Mary FitzGerald Ozog. Watch the video.
  • Civil Conversations. John Gable, CEO of AllSides and Parner, Living Room Conversations. Watch the video.
  • Major Issues in the Supreme Court. Professor Steve Schwinn, John Marshall Law School. Watch the video.
  • Impact of the 2020 Census on IllinoisTina Hone, Chief Impact Officer at YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Watch the video.
  • Fair Maps - Why We Need Them? Mike Fortner, former state legislator. Watch the video.
  • Current State of Foreign Affairs. Craig Kafura, the assistant director for public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Watch the video. 
  • Fair Tax, Funding Education and Pensions. Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. Watch the video.
  • Elections 101: How campaigns decide their voter outreach. Abby Witt, Partner at Arena Consulting.


  • March Primary Elections and Issues Facing Illinois. Kerry Lester, a Chicago-based author and award-winning journalist, discussed the major issues facing our state, providing guidance on how to evaluate candidate positions before casting your ballot on March 6.
  • Is the ERA dead? Does Gender Still Matter in Politics? Michelle Fadeley, president of the Illinois state chapter of the National Organization for Women, spoke about the status and future of the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois.
  • Impact of Environmental Policy on Our Community. Dale Bryson, who worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 34 years, discussed the growing importance and impact of environmental issues now facing voters.
  • Major Issues before the Supreme Court. Professor Steve Schwinn presented the current issues before the Supreme Court and the implications. Schwinn is a frequent commenter on issues related to constitutional law and human rights. He is a co-founder and co-editor of the Constitutional Law Prof Blog and an occasional contributor to other blogs and publications. Watch the video.
  • The Opioid Crisis and DuPage County. Mila Tsagalis and Chris R. Hoff of the DuPage County Heroin Task Force presented information on how the Opioid Crisis has affected our communities. Watch the video.
  • Immigration: Untangling the Facts, History and Economics.Celina Villanueva, New Americans Democracy Project and Youth Engagement Manager, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. 
  • Challenges Facing Education in the 21st Century.Paul Vallas, former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, discussed the issue of education. Watch the video. (for technical reasons, the first part of the presentation is missing.)
  • Climate Change is Real. Tom Skilling, Meterologist WGN TV. Watch the video.
  • The Importance and Implications of the Upcoming November Election. Dr. Phillip Hardy, Political Science Department Chair, Illinois Benedictine University. Video?
  • Citizens Correcting Corruption. Donna Limper, Leadership Team, Represent Us DuPage County. View the Presentation (for Facebook users) and a pdf file of the Presentation (for non-Facebook users).


  • Fighting Against Fake News: The Case for News Literacy. Peter Adams, News Literacy Project’s senior vice president for educational programs, explored the ways that news literacy can help reestablish trust while also helping consumers know what to believe. Watch the video
  • Elections and the System.Melissa Mouritsen, assistant professor of Political Science at College of DuPage, prepared the audience with the tools to run and win a local election and outlined the challenges to modern campaigns for offices such as school board and library districts. Watch the video.
  • Money in Politics: How Much Is Too Much? Sarah Brune, the executive director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, discussed practical tools for keeping up with the fast-paced world of political money in Illinois. Watch the video.