Our History and Mission
The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project is a powerful movement that seeks to reframe the issues present in the daily lives of youth as constitutional issues that must not be ignored. By using landmark Supreme Court cases that directly relate to the high school students’ experiences, and engaging students in hands-on civics activities, we develop in high school students the 21st century skills of creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking -- skills that are necessary to support an empowered, active, questioning democratic citizenry.
Launched in 1999 by American University Washington College of Law Professor Jamin Raskin, who was elected to the United States Congress in November 2016 to represent Maryland’s 8th District. The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project challenges law students to serve the community, while empowering Washington, DC-area youth. The program sends upper- level AU WCL law students into Washington, DC-area schools to teach a constitutional law and youth justice. The law students are designated Marshall-Brennan Teaching Fellows in honor of the late United States Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, Jr., and, with the support of their widows, Mrs. Cecilia Marshall and the late Mrs. Mary Brennan.
Led by AUWCL, Marshall-Brennan chapters are now present at nearly 20 law schools around the country, and 2 international chapters in South Africa and Japan.