Inside Civil Rights

Journey through time to experience seeds of social change.

Little Rock

Inside Civil Rights connects people, places, and moments of the civil rights era to the legacy of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and today’s efforts at cultural renaissance, urban renewal, and policy change. This six-day travel opportunity takes students to the heart of the Civil Rights Movement for an intensive firsthand look at how efforts to integrate the South serve as a foundation for today’s push for racial and social justice.

Our experience begins at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Students will stand on the motel balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King was shot while organizing sanitation workers. In small-group discussions with local experts, we examine whether efforts urging President Eisenhower to take a bolder, more public stand against discrimination were addressed in the 1957 Civil Rights Act that he signed into law.

Our traveling classroom explores the tumultuous desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, that prompted Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce Brown v. Board of Education. We’ll consider how segregation continues to impact education, housing, culture and economic development today.

In Jackson, Mississippi, students will work with experts at the COFO Civil Rights Education Center at Jackson State University to develop and present innovative, forward-looking policy proposals. These proposals will address current issues such as voter registration, racial disparities in education and health care, housing, and economic development.

The study trip is open by application to first-years, sophomores, and juniors who seek a greater understanding of the forces driving and resisting social change.

Spring 2023

  • Monday, March 27, 4-6 p.m. — Orientation
  • Friday, April 21, 6-8 p.m. — Dinner and film viewing
  • May 7-12, 2023 — Study Trip
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