The Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS) was established by Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) in 1966 as an outgrowth of its concern for and commitment to Chicago‘s inner city communities. Since its inception, CCICS has focused on the analysis of institutions, systems and people with a direct impact on the quality of life in the inner cities of the U.S. and elsewhere in the world by creating programmatic and research initiatives. CCICS demonstrates NEIU's urban tradition of education, research and service.
The curricular thrust of the undergraduate and graduate programs of CCICS is to prepare those who work and live in the inner city to understand and act upon the expressed interests of residents of the inner city and to participate fully in the richness of the African and African-American cultures. Since the beginning, the approach has been interdisciplinary with effective curricula and a philosophy, which re-examines every research issue, problem, assumption and question from an African-centered perspective, rather than from the traditional, European-centered viewpoint. This discipline encompasses a research methodology and worldview, which achieves different results when applied to present day inner city populations, and leads to new relationships between human and natural resources in the Chicago metropolitan area and worldwide.