University Relations

Race in America Then and Now: "Post-Racial" Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement

(offered every Summer Term)

To apply, please set up an appointment with our HECUA advisor (contact info below). The application deadline is April 15.

Many people in the U.S. and around the world have seen the election of President Barack Obama as a sign that racism in America is a thing of the past. America, it is said, is now a "post-racial" society, and has moved beyond a racially divided time. Yet that past was not very long ago. Obama's election came within the lifetimes of people whose parents were born into slavery in America, and he was elected President less than fifty years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Even after these landmark pieces of legislation became law, in the 1960s many communities of color struggled to find justice and equality in the United States. This program explores that era's struggles as well as current movements for equality, and dares to ask questions about racial justice in America today. During the one-month program, students meet with civil rights activists who were active in the 1960s and those who are active now, and with lawyers, politicians, educators, and youth to learn about how America's present is inextricably linked to its past. Field experiences open up connections among issues related to education, incarceration, distribution of wealth, health care, housing, employment, and the environment. Students also delve into racial identity development theory, the philosophy of nonviolence, and how social movements function. 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. Jackson, Mississippi is the home-base of this program, but students will do field trips throughout the South.

Central Questions:
  • Does race and racism continue to play a role in American society?
  • In what ways has America moved forward since the Civil Rights Movement?
  • How can students take an active role in furthering the cause for racial justice in America?

Credit Information:

U of M students can earn 6 credits for this summer program. You'll register for ID 3574. Many U of M departments also award major/minor credit to participating students. (Contact your advisor or the Off-Campus Study Programs office for details).

HECUA's Race in America program fulfills these U of M Liberal Education Requirements:
  • Historical Perspectives core
  • Diversity and Social Justice theme

Tuition Information:

Tuition for the Race in America summer program (during the 2014 summer) is $3,200. This includes all travel, all lodging, and most meals. Additional application fees may also apply. Additional application fees may also apply.

Most financial aid applies, and there are several scholarships available to U of M students. Contact our HECUA advisor for more details (see below).

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.