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Presenter talking to an audience at the Constitution Day event.

Constitution Day

Constitution Day is celebrated each year on September 17 to commemorate the September 17, 1787, signing of the United States Constitution. The day was originally proposed by the Daughters of the American revolution with the purpose of informing people about the constitution of America’s heritage, encouraging the study of historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution, and emphasizing citizen responsibility to protect and defend the Constitution. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed into law Constitution Week which runs September 17–23, to commemorate the ratification of the Constitution.

Any educational institution that receives federal funding is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students.

2023 Celebration

Envisioning Justice: Mass Incarceration and the Constitution

Constitution Day will be celebrated on September 14, 2023 from 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the Old Main Room in the Bone Student Center. This multi-faceted event is part of the Leadership for Liberation Pop-Up Library Series and will ask participants to consider the juxtaposition of mass incarceration in the United States with the values and vision stated in the U.S. Constitution. View the Pop-Up Library Collection from Milner Library.

Tyreece Williams from Envisioning Justice will be the featured speaker. His presentation will examine the impacts of mass incarceration in Illinois and emphasize how the arts and humanities are essential tools to envisioning and building a more just society.

No registration is required to participate in this event. Free snacks will be available. This event is sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement, the Leadership Education and Development Unit of the Dean of Students Office, Milner Library.

National Constitution Day Conversations

All members of the Illinois State community are encouraged to participate in the American Democracy Project's National Constitution Day Conversations.  Designed to reach across differences, this event creates space for open discussion of the U.S. Constitution. This national facilitated dialogue is based on the fundamental value of the pursuit of knowledge for the public good. The session will include a lively game, facilitated discussion, and a forum to share thoughts about the U.S. Constitution. The event is open to all higher education students, faculty, and staff. This event is Friday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. CST/2:00 p.m. EST. It is a free online event, but requires registration.


Also stop by the Center for Civic Engagement anytime for a copy of the pocket Constitution or look for them throughout campus September 11 - 15.