Inside Civil Rights

Understand the past to shape the future.

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Exploring America's Cities

Inside Civil Rights examines how responses to civil rights issues have shaped communities across the United States. It will provoke students to be critical thinkers about the processes of achieving and thwarting civil rights in the United States through the in-depth study of urban areas. It ensures that civil rights is viewed as not just a moment in time, but as an ongoing movement.

This semester focuses on America’s capital: Washington, D.C. Students will get a hands-on opportunity to conduct field observations and research, visiting the city to see how past developments impact today’s lived experiences.

Inside Civil Rights: Exploring America’s Cities approaches fundamental and ongoing issues via a Sankofa-like experience: ensuring that participants are well-equipped to address present and future challenges by providing a firm grounding in past realities. This includes understanding past and present processes and patterns of education access, housing segregation, criminal justice, and more. Students will explore connections between these topics, and how accounting for the impact of discriminatory public policies in the past helps current reform efforts. 

The program is led by a team of experts from Gettysburg College’s Africana Studies Department. Prof. Scott Hancock focuses on the African American experience from the mid-seventeenth century to just before the Civil War. Prof. Tyeshia Redden specializes in housing, social policy, urban planning, and urban governance failures. Her work examines social inequities and the experiences of marginalized residents in vulnerable communities. Together, they provide a bridge to understanding how past civil rights issues color today’s urban experience.

Spring 2022 Schedule

Applications closed