The civil-rights movement is one of the most significant chapters in our country’s history. As 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it is a time for our nation to reflect upon how far we’ve come and how much remains to be accomplished. While we confront increasingly racialized violence, emboldened white nationalists, and a morally bankrupt president, we can look back to the victories of the past and to the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans who fueled this history-altering movement, fighting—and too often dying—for the cause of equality.
For those working toward social justice today, there are great lessons to be learned from the civil-rights movement, in which a profound demonstration of commitment and courage succeeded against all odds. In the words of Dr. King: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
- Meet with senior staff at the Equal Justice Initiative’s headquarters in Montgomery to learn more about the organization’s work, and visit the newly opened National Civil Rights Memorial to Peace and Justice, the nation’s first memorial commemorating the victims of lynching in the US.
- Travel to Birmingham and visit the 16th Street Baptist Church, where a bomb killed four young African-American girls as they prepared to sing in their choir on September 15, 1963. Meet with Dr. Rev. Carolyn McKinstry who was inside the church when the bomb exploded
- Stand at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and tour the 54-mile Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, following the marchers’ route that helped change American history.
- Visit the recently opened Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson and meet with innovative leaders at the Jackson Cooperative, a network of worker‐owned enterprises that empower black and Latino communities.
- Explore the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
- Tour the Medgar Evers Home Museum with curator Minnie White Watson, where Evers was murdered in 1963, his blood still staining the concrete driveway.
- Immerse yourself in Memphis’s music history with a tour hosted by a Beale Street musician and walk through the nearby Slave Haven Underground Railway Museum, where dark cellars, hidden passageways, and trapdoors helped hide runaway slaves.
- Spend time at the Rosa Parks Museum and the Freedom Rides Museum, a new museum housed in the former Greyhound bus station where a group of Freedom Riders were attacked by a local mob in 1961. It tells their story through art, quotes, architectural elements, and photographs.
- Sample the best food in the South, with visits to the Big Apple Inn, Gus’s Fried Chicken, and other excellent restaurants.
Your host for the trip will be André Robert Lee, a teacher, producer, and acclaimed documentary filmmaker who has led multiple civil-rights tours of the American South over the past several years. He directed and produced The Prep School Negro and has visited over 350 high schools, colleges, universities, and conferences with his film-based workshop. His most recent work includes a film about how junior- and senior- high-school students are responding to the 2016 presidential election, and a documentary about incarcerated youth who create art to fight recidivism in Richmond, Virginia.
The cost of the seven-night, all-inclusive trip is $4,125/$4,935 per person (double/single occupancy) and includes two nights in Jackson, one night in Little Rock, two nights in Memphis, and two nights in Montgomery; transportation between cities via deluxe motor coach; all tours, lectures, and entrance fees; welcome and farewell receptions; most of your meals; gratuities; and numerous other curated events and activities.
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