Changemakers: San Francisco African American Histories and Lived Experiences

In Fall 2015, University of San Francisco students began researching the stories of African American leaders featured on the Inspiration Murals at the Ella Hill Hutch Community Center in the Western Addition as part of their mission to explore issues of diversity, inequality, social justice, and social change. Students in both the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars and the Martín-Baró Scholars Programs devoted 3+ years of community-engagement work, research, and writing to bring to fruition a 200-page book that collects all 95 biographies. The Changemakers community-engaged learning project is the result of more than 80 student contributors, multiple faculty members, research assistants, librarians, and countless community members who shared their knowledge and expertise in bringing the publication to print.

The printed publication is the first step in preserving the memory of the Changemakers. Coming soon is a website where additional documentation and information including visuals, references and links for each of the African American leaders will housed. Subsequent plans for digital preservation and storage of the original written and audio research for public access are being explored through a partnership with USF’s Gleeson Library, the San Francisco African American Historical & Cultural Society, San Francisco Human Rights Commission and Citizen Film.


Student research uncovers the unique stories behind murals of African American leaders. Read the story here.