Summer Immersions | University of Portland

Summer Immersions

North Portland Civil Rights Immersion

Will be offered Summer 2025

Participants explore issues of justice related to civil rights, education, gentrification, and other intersecting social issues in North Portland. Learn the often unheard histories of Portland and how those continue to impact our city today. See many community responses to promote positive change.

Learn more about student experiences on the North Portland Immersion blog.  


Southern U.S. Civil Rights Immersion

Last offered Spring 2024; next offered Summer 2026

Students walk the path of the Civil Rights movement and learn about contemporary issues of racism and classism in the South. Visit major Civil Rights sites and museums in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana and learn from people involved with the Civil Rights movement. Also, connect with and learn from people addressing racial justice today and its intersections with education, criminal justice, voter suppression and more.  Other experiences may include a tour of Medgar Evers' home, a conversation with the Birmingham Mayor's office and a visit the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans.

Read student reflections from previous participants on our Civil Rights Immersion blog.


Coordinators: TBA

The Spring 2024 Southern U.S. Civil Rights Immersion was a success! The Moreau Center for Service and Justice is excited to announce that in 2024 we received a grant from The Allstate Foundation in collaboration with the Center for Expanding Leadership & Opportunity (CELO) to support youth-led, youth-driven community service among students. This grant is part of The Allstate Foundation’s national efforts to transform how we engage, equip, and prepare youth to participate in community service.

This funding is part of the “A Return to Service” initiative designed to catalyze change while positioning youth-led, youth-driven service as essential for improving communities. We used this grant successfully send 6 students, 1 staff, and 1 faculty on the Southern U.S. Civil Rights Immersion over Spring Break 2024. The 6 students included two student coordinators, Kaylee Gunderson and Cris Diaz, who were involved in all aspects of trip planning, delivery, and follow-up. The immersion was a success thanks to their dedicated leadership. Motivated by their experience on the immersion, Kaylee and Cris are currently in the beginning stages of planning an on-campus panel for mayoral candidates in the November 2024 Portland election. Stay tuned for more information!

Past Immersions

Tanzania Immersion

The Tanzania social justice immersion gave students the opportunity to learn about the social, political, and economic past and present of Tanzania. The three-week experience focuses on education, health, women’s empowerment, and other social issues. Students learned basic Kiswahili (the primary language spoken in Tanzania), participated in service opportunities, experienced homestays with local families, and learned about the work of Holy Cross in East Africa.  

To view student reflections from the Tanzania Immersion, visit our blog.

This immersion is not currently being offered.

Community Organizing and Resistance (CORE) Immersion

Participants will explore current social issues such as food justice, healthcare, and environmental justice through the lens of community organizing by connecting with organizations in Detroit and Chicago such as the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). Learn how to can make positive change in your community by learning from mutual aid organizations, small grassroots nonprofits, large impactful nonprofits and community leaders.

Read the CORE Immersion blog here!

 This immersion is not currently being offered.

CORE Immersion in Chicago 

Above photo: CORE Immersion participants in Chicago.