University Relations

Race in America Then and Now

June 5th to June 27th, 2017
(offered every Summer Term)

To apply, please visit HECUA's application page:

The summer of 2014 saw the beginning of a dramatic shift in public conversation around race in the United States. As the tragic deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, and other unarmed black men dominated the news, powerful protests forced Americans to confront the twin realities of institutionalized racism and police brutality. Protests spilled onto the highways of major cities, occupied shopping malls, and dominated digital spaces, framing dissent around a single rallying cry, originally posted as a Facebook status by 33 year old Alicia Garza: "Black lives matter."

Race in America: Then and Now dives into questions of racial justice in America today, and the continuing role of race in the United States. Students meet with civil rights activists who were active in the 1960s and those who are active now, as well as lawyers, politicians, educators, and youth. Field experiences open up connections among issues related to education, incarceration, distribution of wealth, health care, housing, employment, and the environment. By the end of the month, students have a profound understanding of the Civil Rights Movement—its motivations, strategies, successes and failures—and they have also developed ways to make meaningful contributions to their own communities.

The program is based in Jackson, Mississippi, and is offered in collaboration with the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy at COFO on the campus of Jackson State University, one of America's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Hamer Institute advocates civic engagement and popular sovereignty through the study of the struggle for civil rights in the United States. Mississippi typified the "Deep South" during the era of Jim Crow, and in many ways continues to be racially and politically divided. In and near Jackson and during trips to Alabama, Tennessee, and the Gulf Coast (including New Orleans), students also explore current issues related to health, education, culture, and community organizing.

While staying on the campus of Jackson State University, students are housed in dorm rooms. Lodging on the road will be in hotels or on other college/university campuses.

Credit Information:

U of M students can earn 4 credits for this summer program. You'll register for HECU 3574. Many U of M departments also award major/minor credit to participating students. (Contact your academic advisor or email the Off-Campus Study Programs office --- --- for details).

Tuition Information:

Tuition for the Race in America summer program is $3,500 (includes tuition, airfare to/from Mississippi from Minneapolis/St. Paul, lodging, meals, transportation - Financial Aid may be available). 

Financial Aid Information:

Students enrolled in HECUA may receive financial aid. To learn what you may qualify for, contact Amanda Temple in the Office for Student Finance.

There are several scholarships available through HECUA.
Still Have Questions?
Here are a few other ways to get your questions answered:

—Make an appointment to meet with our HECUA advisor.

—See the Race in America page for a sample syllabus, exact program dates, and much more information.