The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law is established at Roanoke College
Roanoke College is pleased to announce the establishment of The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law. The organization will be located at Roanoke College, and the Center is an independent, non-profit educational organization. Its mission is to enlighten people everywhere about the importance of the rule of law in providing justice, equality, fairness and stability in the world.
"The most significant challenge in the world today is educating our youth about the importance of the rule of law in their lives and the need to promote, preserve and protect it," says G. Michael Pace, Jr., the Center's founder and CEO. Pace is the managing partner at Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP. "Unfortunately, there is less emphasis on teaching history, social studies and civics than ever before. The Center exists to provide the resources to effectively address this critical gap in knowledge."
"Roanoke College's commitment to preparing great citizens and the Center's commitment to the betterment of our society makes this a perfect partnership," says Michael Maxey, president of Roanoke College. "The work of the Center is critically important and we are excited about working together."
"The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law will serve as a forum for discussion and debate involving national and international rule of law advocates, scholarly research and writing on related topics, and collaborative initiatives with other organizations and institutions. The Center's innovative flagship program is the Virginia Law Foundation/Virginia Bar Association Rule of Law Project, which brings lawyers and judges together to teach the rule of law in elementary, middle and high schools from a national and international perspective. "
Timothy Isaacs is the Center's vice president and director of education. "The Center's focus is on scholarship, teaching teachers, and developing educational materials that give students a personal relationship with the rule of law," Isaacs says. "To do this, the Center has developed an understandable and teachable definition of the rule of law.
According to Isaacs, civil societies are based on four elements that must exist for democracy to work: (a) government and its officials are subordinate to and bound by the law; (b) citizens must be engaged in making the laws that govern them; (c) these laws must be fairly and equally applied to everyone; and (d) citizens agree they will obey the law.
"The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law is a big idea, and Roanoke College is all about big ideas," says Dr. Richard Smith, vice president and dean of Roanoke College. "The relationship between us provides an opportunity to bring real world issues that are relevant to our future as a nation and as citizens of the world to the forefront of discussion."
As Pace puts it, "John Adams said in 1784, ' There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide'. The purpose of The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law is to prove Mr. Adams wrong."
The College provides office space, technical support, grant writing and grant administration, access to student interns, and collaborative opportunities with professors and academic departments.
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