Welcome to the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach! (CURTO)

The Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach positions itself as an intellectual axis and key convener of programs that address issues central to affirming human rights and human dignity.

Building from our networks with local community experts and stakeholders, CURTO projects and initiatives share a number of core features that are rooted in our mission and guiding values. While each project takes on it's own life and identity in these university-community collaborations, CURTO projects and initiatives are aligned in that they are all deeply interdisciplinary, they center stakeholders in all phases of project development, undergraduate and graduate students play an active leadership role in project management, and they are at the intersection of our three pillars - research, teaching, and outreach.

Center News and Events


  • Center Director Dr. Robert Smith has a conversation with three graduate students who participated in a nine-day Civil Rights Pilgrimage facilitated by Marquette University's Center for Peacemaking. Watch the CURTO Conversation here.
  • CURTO's Director, Dr. Robert S. Smith, discussed the importance of how we teach about the civil rights movement and racism on WPR's Central Time (January 17, 2022).
  • CURTO's Education Preparedness Program runs 7 blended courses in the Spring 2022 semester. 
  • CURTO's Education and Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer Kiefer Fenton, collaborated with Stanford University's Center for Deliberative Democracy to host a national deliberative polling event, "Voices of the Future", with students enrolled in her Fall 2021 section of POSC 3101 Writing and Argumentation in Political Science. 
  • CURTO's Director, Dr. Robert S. Smith, published Black Liberation from Reconstruction to Black Lives Matter (2021). The book is part of the Debating American History Series, published by Oxford University Press.

Upcoming Events

This Spring 2022 semester, CURTO will continue to co-sponsor Soup with Substance, hosted by Campus Ministry. Soup with Substance is a noontime presentation, on an issue related to social justice over a simple meal of soup and bread. Learn more and sign up for sessions here.