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Civil Rights Scholars Program

The 2023-2024 Civil Rights Scholars Program is now accepting applications. This program provides high school sophomore, junior and senior students with an opportunity to expand their leadership capabilities, build community across the District, and shape Chicago Public Schools' response to bias-based harm.

How to Apply

Students should use the form below to apply for the Civil Rights Scholars Program. Applications are due on Monday, September 25, 2023. We aim to reach out to selected students the week of October 2, 2023.


Program Details

Throughout the program, students will:

  • Broaden their understanding of civil rights struggles and how our identities intersect
  • Learn to prevent, interrupt and respond to bias-based harm by talking about social justice topics, participating in experiential learning opportunities across Chicago, and receiving bystander intervention training
  • Develop skills for promoting social justice such as public speaking, podcasting, filming, and developing partnerships within their schools
  • Build community with peers across Chicago and staff from the Office of Student Protections and Title IX


To be eligible for the Civil Rights Scholars Program, students must meet the following qualifications: 

  • Must be a sophomore, junior, or senior enrolled at a CPS high school
  • Interested in equity, inclusivity, belonging, and creating policy
  • Collaborative thinker and worker

Tentative Schedule

View the program calendar for a tentative schedule. This schedule is subject to change. All programming will take place at, or leave from, the CPS Near West Office at 110 N. Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60612. Students will be provided with CTA cards as needed to get to and from programming. The program runs from October 2023 to May 2024:

  • In-person kick-off in October
  • Three-hour in-person skill-building and project development sessions on the first Tuesday evening of each month
  • Monthly in-person field trips focused on experiential learning, community building, and exploring new parts of Chicago such as visiting the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, as well as holding a Q&A with local and state officials and community leaders
  • In-person closing event in May


If you have any questions about the Civil Rights Scholars Program, email for more information.