Led by top scholars and practitioners in their fields, these first semester courses connect students to the city of Chicago and encourage reflection on those experiences with a cohort of student peers. Students investigate aspects of Columbia College Chicago's diverse urban and cultural setting. Courses introduce students to different learning environments, issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and deeper ways of engaging the urban contexts and communities of Chicago.
CCCX 199H: Big Chicago: Honors
Section 01: Access, Civic Life & City Design
Taught by: Marcella David (Business and Entrepreneurship)
"Access" has many connotations. It can mean the actual physical means of entering a location, the permission given to people seeking to enter a location, start a career, or communicate with a person, or the ability someone may have to make use of a resource. Each of these instances of "access" is linked to a design or plan: an architect's choice between a ramp or stairs, the decision to limit enrollment of a new school building to children living within 20 blocks and not 25 blocks, the decision to locate a free clinic far away from public transportation. We will investigate how Chicago's design choices influence how people experience and use the city. On walking tours and site visits throughout the city, students will examine and critically evaluate the current condition of Chicago's urban spaces and investigate how different people may be welcomed or discouraged from fully participating in Chicago's civic life. As part of our analysis, we will explore how markers of difference, including physical ability, race, socio-economic status and gender, may be influential elements of design that expand or restrict access. Taught by Marcella David, Business and Entrepreneurship.
Section 02: Honors: Civil Rights in Chicago
Taught by: Curtis Lawrence (Communication) and Suzanne McBride (Communication)
Chicago has long been an epicenter for struggles and achievements in the area of civil rights, broadly defined as guarantees of equality protection under the law regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and physical and mental ability. Almost sixty years ago, Chicago took center stage in the so-called Long Civil Rights Movement when Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. joined local activists in the Chicago Freedom Movement to fight housing discrimination and slum conditions, followed by Fred Hampton and the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party organizing block by block for progressive change in low-income neighborhoods. Today, Chicago—its people, its history, and its culture—are on the front lines of newly energized struggles for civil rights across an array of social justice concerns. Young people all over the region—including Columbia College Chicago students—are playing a role in these struggles, highlighted by movements, organizations, and activities such as Black Lives Matter, M4BL, Trans Lives Matter, me too, United We Dream, just to name a few. We will explore a variety of contemporary civil rights issues and engage with the people and institutions that have made our city an international focus for social change. We will use journalism, communication, and basic social science techniques to document, communicate, and share with each other the past and current state of civil rights in Chicago.