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

June 8–29, 2015

Race in America: Then and Now is an intensive six-credit field study course taught in partnership with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) and takes place in June each year. Students explore the philosophy, practice and historical implications of the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s and how these past struggles are inextricably linked to current struggles around race, class and inequality. The course is based at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. and includes multi-day field trips to sites in Alabama, Tennessee and Louisiana. The central questions explored during the course include:

  • 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?

This field experience reveals connections among issues of education, incarceration, distribution of wealth, healthcare, 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 course, students have a profound understanding of the Civil Rights Movement, its motivations, strategies, successes and failures, and they also develop ways to make meaningful contributions to their community today.

MCTC political science instructor Lena Jones serves as the program director for “Race in America Then and Now.” MCTC is part of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, a consortium of colleges and universities that share a commitment to authentic and reciprocal academic-community partnerships for social change.


Students who apply to participate in Race in America Then & Now must have completed one academic year in a degree-seeking program, and hold a GPA of 2.5 or higher (2.0 GPA students are still welcome to apply, but will receive extra scrutiny).

Tuition and fees

The $3,300 program fee covers tuition, round-trip airfare from Minneapolis to Jackson, ground travel to field sites, food and lodging, travel insurance, course reading materials and admission to museums and sites.

Students interested in applying financial aid toward the course should consult with the campus financial aid office.


MCTC Foundation
The MCTC Foundation will offer three scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each for the summer 2015 program. Recipients are responsible for the remaining $300. Applicants should demonstrate leadership ability and potential, an interest in the Civil Rights movement and current social justice struggles, commitment to advancing intercultural understanding on campus and beyond, an ability to connect one’s participation in the course to future goals, a high potential for success in the course, and financial need.

2015 Race in America Scholarship Application

Please note, the materials are due Monday, March 2.

HECUA awards scholarships in the amount of $333.33 to students participating in its summer programs. Information about applying for a HECUA scholarship can be found here.

Eboun Singhathip, 2009 Civil Rights Scholar"Looking back at the program, it gave me a sense of altruism, compassion, and a commitment to service and stewardship. It helped me to understand the importance of stewardship in my life. Giving back to the community that raised me is important, as is "paying it forward," so others have opportunities. Currently, I am a production/office manager at MTN, a non-profit organization working to provide communities access to training, education and public television broadcast."

– Eboun Singhathip, 2009 Civil Rights Scholar

Related Links

Matthew McKenney, Civil Rights Scholarship Winner

Matthew McKenney, civil rights scholarship winner

Thanks to a civil rights scholarship, MCTC student Matthew McKenney participated in the summer course Race in America: Then and Now

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