Signs of the Times #39: Racial Justice and the American Civil Rights Movement ft. Brian Gatter, Matthew Aubourg, and Teayanna Leytham

The high mortality rates of black and brown people from COVID-19, stories emerging from these communities reporting stricter policing in regards to social distancing, and the concerning case of Ahmaud Arbery’s death remind us that racial injustice persists, if not worsens, during these trying times. This year the Center for Social Concerns explored the theme of racial justice through the Act Justly course, a Social Concerns Seminar that took place this past spring semester. The course is an examination of the American Civil Rights movement with an eye to our mutual responsibility to pursue racial justice today. It brought together students, faculty, and staff to reflect deeply on the historical struggle for racial justice in the United States, and to enact a deeper personal and social justice. Participants read from writers across the span of American history, engaged in weekly class sessions, and journeyed together on a Spring Break immersion tracing key moments of the Civil Rights movement throughout the American South. Three students share their stories, reflections, and insights from the experience.