NSU history and civics center looks to offer education and resources

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A new center for history and civics education is opening on the campus of Northern State this fall.

The Center for Public History and Civic Engagement will help streamline a number of research collections already on campus, according to Center Director Jon Schaff.

“So things like, we have a Germans from Russia collection at our library. Things like, coming up shortly, Constitution Day, National History Day.” said Schaff.

Schaff says the goals of the center also include an outreach campaign, offering the center as a place of engagement for community members and outside students.

“We want to do things like bring speakers on to campus. We hopefully at some point bring on students and teachers, K-12 students and teachers on to campus. And give them some further education.”

Schaff said with the topics of history and civics education coming to the front of discussion both locally and nationally, he hopes the center can be used as a space to debate and discuss ideas through education. That includes hosting events and bringing in outside speakers to campus.

“The whole idea of civic engagement is we want to invite the community on to campus. And have activities, events that we can educate the public in general as well about these subjects.”

All the while ensuring the space offers structured and educated discussion.

“My hope is that we can encourage a dialogue. And that people can actually talk to each other. Because these issues very quickly become not just political, but partisan. And obviously, we want to avoid that.”

The first event the center will help host is Constitution Day at Northern State September 17th.

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