Act Justly: Racial Justice and the American Civil Rights Movement

Social Concerns Seminar

This Social Concerns Seminar is an examination of the American Civil Rights movement with an eye to our mutual responsibility to pursue racial justice today. In light of the US bishops' pastoral letter on racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, the Act Justly seminar will invite course participants to reflect deeply on the historical struggle for racial justice in the United States, and seek to enact a deeper personal and social justice. Participants will read deeply from writers across the span of American history, engage in weekly class sessions, and journey together on a Spring Break immersion tracing key moments of the Civil Rights movement throughout the American South.

We will travel by charter bus to Memphis, Jackson, Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery along the journey. This seminar will include students, faculty, and staff with an approximate total of 45 participants.

Class dates: Mondays 5:00–6:30 p.m.; February 3–March 30, 2020

Immersion dates: March  7–13, 2020

Things to Note: 

  • As part of participation in a seminar, we seek to live intentionally and simply during the immersion. This may look different in each seminar and site. For example, some sites allow fewer showers, others may have simpler sleeping arrangements, meals will be healthy and simple, please be flexible. We ask that you take the opportunity to invest fully and embrace the change of pace and amenities.
  • Meals are provided throughout travel to and from your immersion location. We work hard to meet all dietary restrictions but please keep in mind that meals will be simple and healthy.

  • Lodging will mostly be comprised of hotels and sharing a room with one other person.

  • You will receive more specific details from your site leader during preparation classes.
  • You must participate in all class sessions and the entire immersion in order to complete the requirements for the course. Immersion implies over-night stays on site. If you miss any class for any reason you will be responsible for making the class up.
Associated Term: 
Spring 2020
Application Process: 
  • Notification of seminar placement will happen after the final application deadline.
  • If you are not selected for participation in your first choice of seminars, you will be given the opportunity to participate in another seminar if there is still availability.
  • No admittance into the seminar after the first class
  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.
  • For admitted students, the cost of this seminar is charged to your student account upon completion of the seminar. Financial assistance is available based on need. Contact for more information.
  • With questions about your application, email

Spring 2020 Application is now closed

Faculty and Staff Application:

  • Faculty and staff applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
  • Faculty and staff participate in the full seminar experience, including classes and immersion 
  • With questions about your application, email

Spring 2020 Application is now closed


Associated Term: 
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Upcoming Events

April 2020

Livestream: Europe and the Ethics of Remembering
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
CANCELED: Clockwatchers (1978)
Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 3:00pm
Labor Café
Friday, April 24, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
CANCELED: Bread and Roses (2000)
Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 3:00pm

May 2020

CANCELED: Sorry to Bother You (2018)
Sunday, May 3, 2020 - 3:00pm
CANCELED: Postgraduate Service Send-off Ceremony 2020
Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm

August 2020

Information Session | Fall 2020 Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 - 4:00pm