NEH Funds Summer Institute on Civil Rights for High School Teachers

Monday, August 7, 2017
NEH Funds Summer Institute on Civil Rights for High School Teachers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 7, 2017 - PDF here

Media Contact: Robert Korstad,,

Durham, North Carolina -- The National Endowment for the Humanities has announced an award in the amount of $188,974 to Duke University to support a Summer Institute hosted at the Franklin Humanities Institute and directed by Robert Korstad, Professor of Public Policy and History, titled “The Civil Rights Movement: Grassroots Perspectives.”
The grant will bring together thirty teachers from across the U.S. for a three-week residency at Duke University in July 2018. A collaborative team of scholars, veterans of the civil rights movement, and educators from Duke, the SNCC Legacy Project, and Teaching for Change designed the Summer Institute to help participants learn the bottom-up history of the civil rights movement. Participants will have a unique opportunity to learn from the people who made the civil rights movement happen and from the leading scholars of the era. This is particularly important since many history teachers earned their degrees before the publication of recent scholarship on the history of the civil rights movement from the grassroots level. “New scholarship has greatly enhanced our understanding of the civil rights movement, particularly at the local level,” said Korstad, “This institute will help teachers and students share in these new discoveries.”

Participants will engage in a rigorous examination of key historical events (such as the uprising of tobacco workers in Winston-Salem, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Greensboro sit-in, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, and the Lowndes Country Freedom Organization) introduced through books, articles, guest presenters, primary documents, and participant research. The study of these events will provide the models for participants to generate stories from their own city or state. Archivists will provide guidance on how to research the history for their respective stories. Each participant will produce an interactive multi-touch e-book about a key event or individual from their area that addresses the core narratives of the three periods. In each week of the institute, participants will examine three major questions: what happened in the previous decades to lay the groundwork for this event; how leaders emerged from the movement; and how to assess the role of grassroots organizing. Participants will return to their classrooms with new pedagogical resources, strategies, and skills.

"The Civil Rights: Grassroots Perspective” Summer Institute is co-sponsored by the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute. result for duke human rights center logo