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Dedicated Semester 2014

Civil Rights: Then & Now

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Fontbonne University seeks to contribute to a discussion of civil rights in history and also in the present. More than simply a celebration of the achievements of the civil rights era, we look to humanize the movement at every level—from its great leaders to foot soldiers working in every corner of society, bringing new voices and perspectives to enrich and complicate the dominant storylines. We look, too, at influences of the movement in the politics of other groups seeking full equality in American society. We ask in what directions those concerned for civil rights need to move today, with a special interest in how Saint Louis places and spaces have shaped and continue to shape what “rights” mean — and for whom. What are the civil rights issues of our generation? Of our region? Of our nation? How can we learn from the past to serve a world in need today?

An update:

This dedicated semester was conceived of as a way to consider present-day civil rights and struggles more fully in the context of history. As we prepared over the past two years, we did not anticipate so fully (re)living the many core issues of the civil rights struggle that are sometimes regaled to the shadows as “then.” Current events in our city are not-so-subtle reminders that the issues at the core of this semester have not been “resolved,” and indeed play out in both new and reminiscent ways. There are no easy answers here, and the organizers of the Dedicated Semester do not pretend to have any. What we do have is a vehicle for informing, questioning, processing, supporting and problem-solving in our own community. We have added and will continue to add programming to provide resources for the Fontbonne community to respectfully engage in the issues of civil rights on a variety of levels.

View the full 2014 Dedicated Semester schedule of events.