campus partner(s)

University of Rochester






Knowledge for Freedom

award date


project director

Joan Rubin

Grant Summary

$265,000 over 36 months to engage low-income high school students with the opportunity to grapple with classic texts in the humanities and acquire the perspectives and skills that can help them to become both successful college students and active participants in American democracy. Rising juniors will be recruited from East High School in Rochester to participate in a two-week seminar taught in the summer by 7-10 UR faculty. Students will study classical approaches to democratic citizenship and key ideas of the Enlightenment, and how those in turn informed the founding of the American republic. Students will also consider historical and contemporary issues related to gender and race in civic life and explore the legacy of important historical figures with ties to Rochester, including Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and William Henry Seward. Readings will include works by Thucydides, Sophocles, Hobbs, Rousseau, Jefferson, Morrison, and Baldwin. Participants will be supported over the academic year by undergraduate and graduate mentors in developing a writing sample in advance of the college application season.