Munro Summer Institute

Civil Rights in Washington from the 1960s to the Present

August 5-10, 2018

The Munro Institute is offering a summer class geared for social studies teachers that is built around civil rights history in the state of Washington. The course will be one week and includes lectures on the Western campus and tours of sites of past and contemporary movements for civil rights including:

  • Tour of Lummi Indian Reservation with discussion of tribal treaty rights and their economic development projects
  • Visits to The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, and the Northwest African American Museum in Seattle
  • Meeting with migrant farm workers and immigrant rights activists

The course includes content that offers tools to satisfy the OSPI mandate for curriculum in Washington Native American Studies and will be of interest to teachers seeking to build multicultural capacities.  Participants will earn 2 credit hours and clock hours are available.  Tuition fees are $1,100 and scholarships of $1,000 are available for teachers. Scholarship applications are available here.

Program Faculty

The Munro Summer Institute will be led by Professor Vernon Johnson, Director of the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education.  Vernon Damani Johnson has been a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at Western Washington University since 1986. His teaching has been on African politics, and race and public policy in the United States. As a scholar-activist Professor Johnson was on the advisory committee to Reverend Jesse Jackson's Presidential Campaign in the state of Washington in 1988, and subsequently, served on the Steering Committee of the Washington State Rainbow Coalition from 1988-92. When the militia movement swept into the region in the 1990s, he helped to found the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, and chaired its board from 1997-2000. He also was President of the board of the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity, a regional human rights organization, from 2000 to 2003. With the emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement in the summer of 2014, Professor Johnson has done public speaking on the issue, and advised activists on community organizing around it. In the spring of 2015 he was appointed the Director of the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education.

For more information about the Munro Summer Institute, please contact Professor Vernon Johnson at

Photos from the 2017 Munro Summer Institute.


Praise for the Munro Summer Institute

“The field trips, lectures and resources are so enriching … Thank you for the visits to the Skagit Valley, the Lummi Reservation, the Wing Luke and African American museums. Most of all, I love your voice and your personal stories. Thank you!”

Susan Redd

Immaculate Conception Regional School, Mount Vernon

“It’s been an honor to be in your summer civil rights class. Thank you for the knowledge and insights into the history and heart of civil (human) rights.”

Rick Salinas

Lummi Nation School

“I’m so glad to have started the summer with you and this class. I am so appreciative of the work you do, and this class was all I was hoping it would be and more, Thank You!”

Alyssa Kaufmann

Western student