Who we are


The Integrated Action Civics Project, currently led by UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project (UCBHSSP), was originally developed through a collaboration between the UCBHSSP and the Santa Clara County Office of Education with significant support and participation by the San Mateo County Office of Education. Initiated in 2017, this multi-year, multi-regional initiative relies on the committed involvement of dozens of teachers to develop an integrated approach to civic education and engagement in the K-12 History-Social Science (H-SS) classrooms. 

This program is still under development - revisions and new sections continue to be added regularly. We welcome constructive feedback to improve this site or the included tools and scaffolds. You can contact us at iacp@berkeley.edu.


UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project

Devin Hess, UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project Academic Coordinator; Co-founder and Director of IACP. Email: dhess@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)

Devin Hess first started working with UCBHSSP in 2009 as a memeber of the Teacher Research Group and joined the staff in 2013. In addition to providing professional development for the History educators in the region, he leads the multi-county “Integrated Action Civics Project. Devin has presented at numerous conferences on approaches to history instruction, civic engagement and technology integration. He also independently consults with ongoing digital storytelling projects supporting rural development and education in India and Guatemala. Devin has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and has taught at both the middle and high school levels.

Ricky Aguirre, UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project Academic Coordinator; IACP Ethnic Studies Integration Coordinator; Email: raguirre@berkeley.edu

Ricky Aguirre first started working with UCBHSSP in 2016 as a member of a Teacher Research Group and joined the staff in 2022. Before joining UCBHSSP, Ricky taught at a continuation high school in San Jose, CA where he partnered with UCBHSSP on the development of the Integrated Action Civics Project and the development of Ethnic Studies in the Campbell Union High School District. In 2021, the Integrated Ethnic Studies course he created was the one of the first in the state of California to be certified under the “A” pathway by the UC system.


Santa Clara County Office of Education

Olivia Santillan, History-Social Science and Civics Coordinator; IACP Co-founder. Email: olivia_santillan@sccoe.org 

Olivia Santillan is the History-Social Science and Civics Coordinator in the Multilingual Education Services Division of the Santa Clara County Office of Education. Olivia helped establish and co-leads the Integrated Action Civics Project. She started her teaching career in Fremont Unified in 1997 where she led multiple cross curricular teams through aligning curriculum and creating cross curricular lessons and units, including Ethnic Studies, AP U.S. History, and Big History. Starting in 2014, Olivia worked as an assistant principal in San Lorenzo Unified where she was trained to conduct administrative work with staff, students, and families through a Restorative Practices and Equity lens.


San Mateo County Office of Education

Gwenn Lei, History-Social Science and Language Arts Coordinator. Email: glei@smcoe.org

Gwenn Lei, Ed.D, is the Reading-Language Arts/History-Social Science coordinator at the San Mateo County Office of Education. She supports the Integrated Action Civics development in her role leading the county's 'Project Solutionaries' program to promote civic engagement among youth. An educator for 25 years, Gwenn has been developing curricular programs, literacy initiatives and professional learning experiences for 10 years. As the director for the California Reading and Literature Program, she supervised grant-based statewide initiatives while developing high-quality teacher handbooks and training. She has a doctorate in multicultural education, and an expertise in literacy.

Teacher Cohort - Zoom Screenshot

Teacher Research Cohorts

This project is only possible through the hard work and dedication of many teachers throughout California over the course of several years.

In 2018 , teachers came together in two cohorts at the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Offices of Education. Over the following four years, they helped develop, adapt, test, and revise the various strategies found on this site. 

With the onset of virtual learning forced by the pandemic, most of the paper-based strategies were adapted to online formats, especially Google Slides. Though the pandemic greatly limited the planned deep dive into action civics, the social upheavals of the year of disruption revealed the critical and timely nature of this work.

We also are grateful to the teachers in Campbell Union High School District for their role in shaping the launch of this project, and the many teachers from around the country who gave us feedback from their classrooms.

Just Associates (JASS)

Just Associates Logo

Many of the change models featured in the Integrated Action Civics Project are adapted from the work of Just Associates (JASS), a "global women-led human rights network of activists" founded in 2003.  With chapters in Central America, Southern Africa and Indonesia, JASS has a long history of developing and sharing grass-roots organizing strategies to empower women and their communities. We have adapted these tools for the classroom and added scaffolding to support student-led inquiry and action. JASS's understanding of power and community organizing are summarized in A New Weave of Power, People & Politics: The Action Guide for Advocacy and Citizen Participation (2007) by L. Veneklasen and V. Miller. 

Mikva Challenge

Mikva Challenge's excellent "Issues to Action" program inspired our conceptualization of the Change Domain (aka 2nd Bubble). Their strategies and tools could similarly be integrated into the study of course content to support civic learning and engagement throughout the K-12 curriculum.

User Experience & Usability

We are grateful for the work of Marilyn Tahl (Confluence CX, LLC) for her patient and throrough review and advice during the construction of this website and associated resources. Her deep understanding of user experience and support for the goals of this project allowed her to offer feedback that greatly improved the message and impact of this effort.

This project was made possible through the generous support of:

Silicon Valley Community Foundation Logo
Hewlett Foundation Logo
MLK Freedom Center Logo
Single Subject Matter Project