The American Mosaic-Steelton Project was an experiment in multicultural education. During the spring 1996, some 25 students and 3 faculty from Dickinson College came together with workers, teachers, local business people, and residents of Steelton, Pennsylvania to explore questions of mutual interest: how does one make a living, raise a family, negotiate school, sustain faith, and relate to others in the mid-1990s in a small town in America? Interacting across race, class, gender, generational, age, and religious lines, members of the Dickinson and Steelton communities engaged one another in the union halls and classrooms, in churches and cafes, at the mill and in the cemeteries. As we interviewed and listened to tapes and read transcriptions, we were working out our own understandings of what was going on not only in the community but within ourselves as well. The project became a very personal one as we moved in and out of our roles as outsider-insider, historian-listener, participant-observer, minority -majority, student-teacher, apprentice-mentor.

The American Mosaic Semester at Dickinson College