21st Century Civics Talk

bring the OutdatedDemocracy Crew to your neighborhood

Civics Lesson

Let's TALK CIVICS! Writer, filmmaker and former high school teacher Lisa Elaine Scott will present A 21st Century Civics Lesson, which will cover such topics as:
            -Proportional Representation
            -Ending the Electoral College
            -Non-Competitive Safe Seat Districts
            -Creating a RepresentativeDemocracy
The presentation is designed to be an interactive teach-in, so the structure is flexible and can be tailored to fit any available time slot. A 2-hr time frame is preferable.
Segments of the Teach-In will be filmed, and footage may appear in the documentary. Our production team will be conducting brief interviews with any participants who are willing to appear in the film. There will be a specified section where people may sit who prefer not to appear on camera.

Ideally, the event will be held in a venue with a screen and a projector and ample seating. However, we are able to provide presentations to small groups at almost any location, and we will consider all requests. Our goal is to connect with as many people as possible.
Contact Us: For more info or to schedule a Teach-In, please contact us at:



Lisa Elaine Scott

my headshot 1Lisa Elaine Scott is a writer, mediator and independent filmmaker. She received an undergraduate degree in secondary education from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MA in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building from California State University, Dominquez Hills.

After 10 years as a social studies teacher, Lisa and her two kids moved to Los Angeles where she began her TV/Film career. She spent several years learning the post-production ropes at E! Entertainment Television and then moved on to become a film and video projectionist at the American Film Institute.

In 1999, Lisa directed The Ultimate Song, a 30-minute documentary about the musician’s role in the struggle to end poverty. The video was featured at Farm Aid and screened at the South by Southwest Media Festival.

After learning that “The Golden State” was handing out life sentences for drug possession and shoplifting, Lisa began what would turn out to be a decade-long commitment to amend California’s three strikes law. After several years in the movement, Lisa became convinced that the world needed to better understand California’s unique brand of mass incarceration. She interviewed activists, criminal justice experts, and those directly affected by the law – third strikers and their families. The video, Under Three Strikes, was released in 2004 and has been screened up and down the state of California, around the country and throughout the world.

While writing for the Irish Herald, Music Connection, and various internet publications, Lisa became aware of the plight of Pamela Martinez who had been released from prison after serving seven years for stealing a $30 toolbox. After two years of freedom, Attorney General Bill Lockyer determined that Martinez had been released from prison early and ordered her to return to prison to serve 65 days. Determined to stop this gross injustice, Lisa waged an international media campaign in defense of Martinez. The story quickly took off and was covered by CNN, Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20, and People magazine. As interest and concern grew, the story appeared in local and regional newspapers throughout the US and the world. Unable to ignore the groundswell of support created by the media spotlight, Governor Schwarzenegger granted clemency, and Pamela Martinez remained a free woman.

In 2010, Lisa decided to pursue a degree in conflict resolution. In an attempt to better understand the effects of conflict, the possibilities for peace, and the avenues that lead to post-conflict reconciliation, Lisa made numerous trips to Northern Ireland to study and document the aftermath of the conflict and the on-going peace process. She has written articles and produced radio segments about the Northern Ireland peace process and continues to follow the post-conflict progress and incorporate the lessons learned into her peace building work at home.

When Lisa isn’t working on OutdatedDemocracy, she spends her time writing and providing conflict resolution services.


Paul Finkelman


Ariel F. Sallows Visiting Professor of Human Rights Law University of Saskatchewan College of Law

Senior Fellow, Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, University of Pennsylvania

A specialist in American legal history, race relations, slavery, and civil liberties, Paul Finkelman is the author of more than 200 scholarly articles and more than forty books. His op-eds and shorter pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the​ Washington Post, USA Today, and on the Huffington Post​.

The U.S. Supreme Court has cited his work on legal history in four cases. He was recently na​med the ninth most cited legal historian according to "Brian Leieter's Law School Rankings.“

He is an expert in constitutional history and constitutional law, freedom of religion, the law of slavery, civil liberties and the American Civil War, and legal issues surrounding baseball. He has written extensively on Thomas Jefferson and on Abraham Lincoln.

Professor Finkelman was the chief expert witness in the Alabama Ten Commandments monument case and his scholarship on religious monuments in public spaces was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry (2005).

In 2002 he was a key expert witness in the suit over who owned Barry Bonds' 73rd home run ball. He subsequently appeared in Up For Grabs, a documentary about the Barry Bonds' home run ball.

C-SPAN was on the Albany Law School campus in fall 2010 to tape Professor Paul Finkelman's two-hour class on the Dred Scott case. The program aired nationally and is now part of C-Span’s series on American History. He has also appeared on other C-Span programs, on PBS, and the History Channel and ​​​​​​​​​​​has also appeared in several historical films, including Ken Burn’s documentary, Thomas Jefferson.



Production Team

Patriq Luo
Michael Villers
Field Producer
Andrew Lippin
Sound Engineer
Russell Mamorsky
Sound Engineer
Giselle Luo
Camera Operator
Renie Simone
Production Assistant