Cox and Democratic gubernatorial challenger Christopher Peterson to participate


OREM, Utah ­­— Utah Valley University’s (UVU) Center for Constitutional Studies will host a “Civics and Civility” panel featuring Gov. Spencer Cox and 2020 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Professor Christopher Peterson on April 19 from 1-2 p.m. in CB 101 in the Clarke Building on UVU’s Orem Campus.

The purpose of this free public event is to improve Utah citizens’ understanding of and appreciation for how to be civil, engaged, and productive participants in the American political system.

“Governor Cox and Professor Peterson are excellent models of what is required in a pluralistic democracy like ours — they have shown us how to disagree without being disagreeable,” said Dr. Verlan Lewis, David & Laurea Stirling Endowed Chair of Constitutional Studies. “We hope that having an open dialogue between Governor Cox and Professor Peterson, and the audience, can promote the kind of civil and reasoned discourse that is desperately needed in our public square.”

The Center for Constitutional Studies will also host a Civics Educator Conference that morning, which will include professional development seminars for K-12 social studies teachers, as part of the Civic Thought and Leadership Initiative. This session is designed help improve the teachers’ understanding of and ability to teach American history, government, and civics.

At 1 p.m., all attendees and the broader Utah Valley community will meet in the Clarke Building, CB 101, for a “Civics and Civility” panel discussion with Governor Cox and Professor Peterson.

“Our mission, as a nonpartisan academic center, is to prepare citizens with an understanding of the civic thought and practices critical to the perpetuation of constitutional government,” Lewis said. “These practices include respecting the rights of others, including the freedom to speak, upholding the rule of law, and accepting the outcomes of elections.”

The panel and other upcoming events are part of UVU’s Civic Thought and Leadership Initiative, which was created in 2021 by the Utah State Legislature in the University’s Center for Constitutional Studies.

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About The Center for Constitutional Studies

The Center for Constitutional Studies (CCS) at Utah Valley University was established in September 2011. The Center is a nonpartisan academic institute that promotes the instruction, study, and research of constitutionalism. We employ conferences, university curriculum, faculty scholarship, a robust research agenda, strategic partnerships, and K-12 initiatives to engage students, scholars, educators, leaders, and the public on important constitutional issues found at the intersection of political thought, public policy, religion, law, history, education, and economics. The Center prepares citizens with the broad understanding of thought and practices critical to the perpetuation of constitutional government, ordered liberty, and the rule of law.

For more information about the CCS, click here.

About Utah Valley University

At Utah Valley University, we believe everyone deserves the transforming benefits of high-quality education — and it needs to be affordable, accessible, and flexible. With opportunities to earn certificates to master’s degrees, our students succeed by gaining real-world experience and developing career-ready skills. As we celebrate the milestone of our 80th anniversary in 2021, we continue to invite people to come as they are — and leave ready and prepared to make a difference in the world. For more, visit and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.