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Equity and Justice: Teaching Iowa Civil Rights History

Photo by Christopher Gannon
Katy Swalwell, assistant professor in the ISU School of Education, stands on a memorial bridge in Des Moines, named after American civil rights pioneer Edna May Griffin

When Iowa history is taught the focus is usually on settlement and early statehood, but interesting things have happened since 1846.

A new summer course at Iowa State University is designed to fill in some of the gaps.

This summer, a first of its kind online history course focusing on civil rights in Iowa is being offered to ISU students, teachers, and the general public.

"Teachers across the state are definitely pressured to reduce time for social studies in many places," says assistant professor in the ISU School of Education, Katy Swalwell. "This is hopefully one way to encourage them to find ways to integrate it and to provide them with resources."

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Swalwell, who designed and will be teaching the course.

Charity also talks with two of the many people she turned to for information and inspiration about civil rights in the state, Krystal Gladden, museum educator at the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids, and Freedom Summer volunteer and documentary producer, Patti Miller.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa