CCICS campus embraces culture, community and family


Andrew Calderon

A view of Chicago from CCICS’ Bird Nest. Photo by Andrew Calderon.

Andrew Calderon

NEIU has roots on the Southside of Chicago. In the heart of Bronzeville on 700 E. Oakwood Blvd. lies the historical building of the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS).

CCICS, NEIU’s Southside campus, is more than just another location; it has a cultural history and students ready to change the world.

Not too long ago, predominant figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells, Fred Hampton and Gwendolyn Brooks have all been walked on the grounds of CCICS. Today CCICS houses the program of Inner City Studies for students intrigued by the cultures, communities and experiences of the Inner City populations.  

Inner City Studies student Gerardo Gonzalez said, “The Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies has developed my understanding for the Inner City plight. Its style and educators make it a welcoming environment which allows my conscious to awaken to Inner City issues and the solutions for the Inner City community. Carruthers Center is a great institution for NEIU, but is underutilized.”

CCICS was birthed from Dr. Jacob Carruthers and Dr. Anderson Thompson, both of whom developed the curriculum to be taught from an African American perspective in 1968. Since then, the curriculum has been evolving alongside the development of the Inner City populations to reflect the multi-cultural perspectives of NEIU’s students.

The Inner City Studies program offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree for students who are willing to immerse themselves in the urban environment and understand the issues that surround the cultures that inhabit the Inner City. The program gauges truth on perspectives that are directly affected by major social issues like the disparities in education, gentrification and the modernity of Jim Crow.

Its curriculum is a tool to dissect the injustices of today’s society and develop methods to combat these injustices to heal our communities.

The CCICS student body and employees embrace culture, community and family for anyone seeking an intimate learning experience. The professors, staff and the faculty remember all who come through the doors and praise educational attainment.

NEIU should be proud to behold the legacy of the Carruthers Center because of its significance in defining the perspective of those within the Inner City and giving those students a voice to project their presence in the educational and professional fields.

CCICS employees empower students of the Inner City to pursue educational achievement and continue to build upon that success with is Director Dr. Andrea Evans. Her mission to build upon its student body and bring more fields of study to the South Side campus brings new life and meaning to CCICS.

All NEIU students are invited to visit CCICS for their celebration of African American and Black achievement during Black History Month. Students are also welcomed to look around the library’s collection of books and view Chicago’s skyline in the 360-degree “Bird Nest.”