Background and Context
These resources are designed to help students develop a thorough understanding of the topic of Civil Rights & Individual Liberties; and help students make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue of Civil Rights & Individual Liberties.
Current Issue Debates
Current Issues Debates highlight current policy issues featured in the news. Issues are framed by a central question, historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions. These concise resources allow students to move quickly from reading to discussing and debating the issue.
Our lesson plans are designed to promote civil discourse and empathy for diverse perspectives. Based on the proven instructional techniques that Close Up uses with students on program, these lesson plans are ideal for teachers who want to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom.
Post | April 23, 2021
On April 3, 2021, the Georgia General Assembly passed the Election Integrity Act of 2021. This new voting law enacts sweeping changes to Georgia’s election system which could have significant implications for the outcome of future elections. Republicans in Georgia and across the United States have hailed the law as a vital and necessary reform […]
Congress passed the 26th Amendment in March 1971; it was ratified by the states and signed by President Richard Nixon by July of that same year.1 The amendment lowered the voting age to 18. It reads: Section 1 The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to […]
Post | March 8, 2021
The past several election cycles have seen high-stakes fights over access to the ballot and the rules that govern elections. In 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated provisions of the Voting Rights Act, thus making it easier for states to change their voting laws.1 In the years since, conservatives in Congress and in state legislatures have […]
Post | February 24, 2021
In the wake of this past summer’s demonstrations and civil unrest spurred by accusations of wrongful police killings and systemic racism, Congress is considering legislation regarding reparations to Black Americans who are descended from enslaved people. The bill, H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act, was introduced by Representative […]
Post | February 23, 2021
Now that former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial has concluded with another acquittal, some lawmakers and voters remain unsatisfied with the results.1 Had President Trump been found guilty by the Senate, he would have been barred from holding federal office again in the future. With an acquittal, President Trump remains eligible to run once […]
Post | February 16, 2021
The debates over defunding or reforming the police and addressing the school-to-prison pipeline have merged to focus on the issue of police officers in schools. School resource officers (SROs) are career law enforcement officers who work in one or more schools.1 According to the Department of Justice, SROs are “responsible for safety and crime prevention […]
Videos | February 12, 2021
During this Close Up Conversations webinar, available on-demand, Close Up’s, Joe Geraghty, discusses race, activism, and social issues in the world of sports, with Curtis Harris, PhD History candidate and adjunct professor at American University.