On June 17 and 18, a diverse group of Tallahassee citizens will travel to Montgomery, AL to visit several civil rights sites.
We represent at least 22 organizations.
We are interracial.
We are intergenerational--8 students, 11 adults, 43 seniors.
We are interfaith--Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and no particular faith.
We reflect our community.
Five students (3 from FAMU and 2 from FSU) are participating through a grant offered by First Presbyterian Church (4) and by one of their members who is on the Compassion and Social Justice Committee (1). An additional traveler received a grant from the donations offered by fellow travelers to assure anyone that wanted to attend would be able.
Our first day will be focused specifically on the work of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). We will visit the Legacy Museum which tracks the history of African Americans from slavery through Jim Crow to the era of mass incarceration. After the museum we will visit the Peace and Justice Memorial which EJI opened last year. This is a national memorial to commemorate the victims of lynching in the United States. The memorial is intended to acknowledge past racial terrorism and advocate for social justice in America. Following our time at the memorial, we will attend a briefing by staff of EJI to hear about their work with death penalty prisoners and how the memorial and museum grew out of that work. With 62 people joining this trip, it is our hope that many will join our efforts to bring the duplicate column commemorating Leon County's lynching victims from the Peace and Justice Memorial back to our community.
The following day we will visit several sites important to the Civil Rights movement before we head home. By the time we leave, we'll have heard the stories of Rosa Parks, the Freedom Riders, Dr. Martin Luther King and his first church, and seen the Southern Poverty Law Center's Civil Rights Memorial listing all those who gave their lives during this era; we will be familiar with EJI and their work for social justice; and we will be reminded that there is still much work to be done. Our time together will be one of learning, reflection, and possibly a new perspective.
This fall we will work to bring together several of the participants for a panel discussion about our experiences to be held at First Presbyterian Church. Further information will be coming about that program once school has begun again.