Unsung Foot Soldiers   marchers
The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies
foot soldiers

About the Project: Mission

The Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies and Research seeks to establish an archival and documentary research infrastructure for studying, disseminating, and preserving information and scholarship on the civil rights movement, social justice and reform, and policy-related issues. Its aim is to advance civil rights scholarship while contributing more broadly to enhancing local and national discourses on diversity and equity.

This project centers on chronicling the lives and stories of those “foot soldiers for equal justice” whose names may not be familiar, but whose dedication to the cause of equality and civil rights formed the backbone of a movement that brought about sweeping changes in the nation’s history. It seeks to illuminate the contributions of some of the foremost, yet still unsung, twentieth century freedom fighters in order to provide a fuller understanding of issues of race, equity, and social reform in Georgia and the South during the 1950s and 1960s. Such work will help to illustrate how social change and social reform results from the hard work and dedication not only of the few celebrated figures whose names are preserved in history books and movies, but also of the countless committed individuals whose contributions, while unrecognized, are nevertheless crucial.

Initially, the FSP will focus on Georgia’s rich history in the civil rights movement. The scope of the project will evolve to include civil rights studies throughout the Southeastern United States.

The impact and significance of The Foot Soldier Project will be both local and far-reaching. The Project will make its materials available to current and future scholars, students, teachers, and policymakers, thus exposing a wide range of individuals to largely unknown facets of the struggle for civil rights. Research from the project will be made available through documentary films, publications, research seminars, thematic exhibits, community educational forums, and this Web site. Dissemination through these formats will introduce new and older generations of citizens to knowledge and experiences that have the potential to expand and enrich society’s ongoing conversations about issues of ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity.