Skip to main content

          Monday, June 25 – Thursday, June 28 |UNC-Chapel Hill

Oral history interviews provide tangible access to the past, with narrators offering first-hand descriptions in their own voices of historical events, ideas, and mindsets. Bringing K-12 students into close contact with these unique auditory sources can give them a very real sense of what it was like in years past, leading to personal connections, the development of critical thinking skills, and an interest in history that is sometimes missing in middle and high school youth. With this in mind, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Southern Oral History Program (SOHP), in collaboration with Carolina K-12, is excited to announce and solicit applications for its second summer of the Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellows in Civil Rights.

This unique program will provide fifteen middle and high school teachers from around the state with an intensive exploration of how to utilize oral histories that relate to the long Civil Rights Movement in the K-12 classroom in effective, meaningful, and creative ways. 

While this program is designed with the middle and high school social studies teacher in mind, teachers in other disciplines (such as English/Language Arts teachers) with a demonstrated interest in integrating civil rights instruction and oral histories into their course are also eligible.

The Oral History Teaching Fellows program will be held on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill from Monday, June 25 – Thursday, June 28. The dynamic agenda throughout these four days will integrate:

  • content presentations and seminar discussions on the Civil Rights Movement with university scholars
  • exploration of various concepts, strategies and resources for effectively utilizing oral histories in the middle and high school classroom
  • an introduction to the SOHP collection, which includes hundreds of interviews with Civil Rights activists—famous and unknown—from across the South
  • training on how to utilize and edit oral history excerpts from the SOHP collection that fit particular classroom objectives
  • an overview of ready-to-implement classroom resources, such as Carolina K-12’s lesson plans and Mapping Voices of North Carolina’s Past, a digital map of the state embedded with oral history clips about desegregating schools across North Carolina
  • discussion regarding how diverse voices from the past can reshape the way we understand and teach about civil rights today
  • time to independently research the SOHP collection with the goal of creating short clips from various civil rights interviews which will be particularly useful to classroom teachers; Fellows will then write one creative activity for utilizing their selected oral history clips in the 6-12 classroom

Each fellow will then return home to complete independent research in the SOHP collections (all transcripts and audio files are available online) with the goal of creating playlists of short clips from various civil rights interviews which will be particularly useful to classroom teachers.  Fellows will then write one creative lesson plan that utilizes their selected oral history clips.

Educators who are chosen as a Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellow will receive:

  • 4.0 CEUs
  • Meals and snacks
  • A unique mix of engagement with scholars, interactive pedagogical exploration, and collaboration with colleagues that will provide inspiration and rejuvenation for teaching itself
  • A $250 stipend (upon the completion of one teaching activity) for participants who do not need lodging and a $250 or $150 stipend for teachers requiring lodging (see details following)
  • Hotel accommodations at the historic, award-winning Carolina Inn for teachers residing over 90 round-trip miles from Chapel Hill. Teachers who meet mileage requirements can choose between:
    • a $250 stipend and DOUBLE occupancy accommodations (teachers will be roomed with other teachers selected as Fellows) OR
    • a $100 stipend and SINGE occupancy accommodations

Please note that applicants must be able to attend all hours of the June 25-28, 2018 event in order to be selected as a fellow. Teaching history is too often an exercise in rote memorization.  This dynamic fellowship will provide a chance for teachers to learn and collaborate on creating and implementing creative strategies to engage students in critical thinking while tying past civil rights events to contemporary issues. Don’t miss this unique opportunity for middle and high school teachers – apply today!

The deadline for applications is Friday, May 11, 2018. Applicants will be selected by a committee comprised of UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff, and will be notified on or before Friday, June 1 of their acceptance.

If you have questions regarding the program or application process, contact Christie Norris at

Funding for this program is provided by the Southern Oral History Program and the North Caroliniana Society.