Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education


How can universities support their students in pursuing civil rights activism? In doing so, how can universities prioritize students from marginalized communities who are most affected by justice issues? This paper will explore lessons learned from the nation’s first civil rights clinic at the undergraduate level. Responding to the urgency of our time, the University of Southern California, Dornsife College, launched "Agents of Change: Civil Rights Advocacy Initiative” in January 2021 to support students in addressing civil rights challenges in the Los Angeles community. This paper will discuss the importance of the civil rights activism clinical model at the college level. It will also cover challenges and best practices in creating a college-level civil rights program that incorporates hands-on field work, community partnerships, mentorship, and custom-tailored curricular classes and modules.

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