Mission Statement

Preparing a New Generation of Civil Rights Leaders.

Vision & Why

Purpose & Goals

The Youth Civil Rights Academy aims to prepare a new generation of civil rights leaders who will strengthen civil rights and social justice. Through both online and face-to-face educational experiences, young people will learn more about how to promote and defend their rights and how to create changes in their schools and communities.

Future civil rights leaders need to be more than just familiar with a handful of heroic figures; young people must have a deep understanding about diverse people of African, Asian, European, Latin American, Native American and Middle Eastern descent, and issues in their everyday lives.

They will be expected to understand identity, diversity, justice, and action, inclusive of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, religion, ability, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation, through Youth Civil Rights Academy programs which include:

  • Campus ProgramsBring students to the University of Michigan for programs designed to prepare our next generation of civil rights leaders, as well as offer college preparation. Participants attend sessions designed to develop leadership skills, and build relationships between high school and university students.
  • School and Community Organizing – Reach out to schools and communities to discuss civil rights issues. We work with students and teachers to help them formulate curricula and integrate content in courses and activities.
  • Digital Stories & Courses Offer online courses in a variety of formats for targeted audiences, addressing modern civil rights issues which concern young people of diverse social identities, and providing a platform for collaborating and conversing with peers on topics of interest.

This resolution was developed by a group of young people and passed unanimously by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission. “The resolution is a call to action for schools, school districts, and school boards to strengthen diversity training and civil rights education in Michigan schools. The efforts of MCRC to expand and improve civil rights education come in response to the state receiving a failing grade in teaching civil rights from the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Read more about it at April 1 Public Forum at U-M Dearborn on the State of Civil Rights Education in Michigan

Guiding Principles

The Youth Civil Rights Academy aligns itself with the University of Michigan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives and values.


Diversity respects the wide range and variety of individuals and issues; equity refers to the fairness of giving voice to concerns that affect civil and human rights; and inclusion provides opportunity for participation in issues that affect these rights.