Civil Rights Heritage Center – Summer 2022 Internship

Internship focus: Documenting Freedom Summer Tour

About the organization

The IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center (CRHC) is a unit of the Indiana University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Located at 1040 W. Washington St., South Bend, IN, and housed in the former Engman Public Natatorium, the CRHC focuses on education, culture, and activism.

The CRHC is an extension of the IU South Bend campus. As such, it operates as a space for students, faculty, administrators, student organizations, and other university entities to meet, hold classes, and engage with the larger community. The CRHC sponsors or hosts a wide range of educational and cultural programming to engage the public in conversations on issues and concerns of local and national importance. The CRHC also functions as a community resource for local grassroots activism. Finally, the the CRHC functions as a living museum that simultaneously preserves and honors past struggles for civil rights and social justice in the Northern Indiana region while initiating and supporting contemporary efforts to advance the unfinished fight for justice.

About this internship

The Freedom Summer Class is a 3-credit study tour of the Civil Rights Movement in the South taught through IU South Bend. In 2022, a cohort of undergraduates from the University of Iowa will join the tour. An intensely personal and academic experience, Freedom Summer students embark on a 14-day journey travelling to historic sites in the Civil Rights Movement and hearing from its participants, experiencing this history first-hand. Participants march in the footsteps of activists, dialogue with Civil Rights leaders, and visit museums, monuments, and churches.

There have now been 5 Freedom Summer tours, each with documentation that has yet to be catalogued. Working with the co-director of the Freedom Summer and the Heritage Center’s chief curator, this intern will participate in the May 16-30 tour in order to better understand the experience and to assist in documentation. Returning to South Bend, IN, the intern will archive materials and consider ways to preserve and share the experiences and outcomes of this class/tour. 

Intern’s work responsibilities

Responsibilities will include:

Note: This internship is on a different schedule than the other opportunities listed and has the possibility of 10-week or 8-week commitment. The 10-week option includes going on the tour + 8 weeks of work onsite; the 8-week option includes going on the tour + 6 weeks of work onsite. Pay will be pro-rated depending on length of internship.

  • Interview curators and other personnel at museums and sites on the tour.
  • Document the tour through interviews and other mediums that best suit the interns’ skills and interests.
  • Catalogue materials from past Freedom Summer tours.
  • Propose ways to effectively share catalogued material and, if time allows, begin work on a storytelling project, e.g., exhibition, website, book.

Qualifications & skills preferred

  • Strong working knowledge of U.S. history and especially of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Knowledge of museum studies and how history is contextualized.
  • Ability to work professionally with people of diverse backgrounds and ages.
  • Strong organizational abilities.
  • Ease in talking with individuals whose life experiences may be radically different from one’s own.

Reporting, hours, & location

This intern reports to Darryl Heller, director of the CRHC. During the tour, the intern will travel with the cohort and can expect to share lodging. While in South Bend, the internship is sited at the CRHC.