Nearly 50 SMU community members will leave campus March 6 for a journey into living history. The 2009 Civil Rights Pilgrimage departs at 3 p.m. for an 8-day bus ride to the South’s civil rights landmarks.
This year’s contingent includes 18 undergraduates and 8 Master of Liberal Studies students, as well as 20 staff and other SMU community members, says Dennis Simon. Simon and Matthew Wilson, both associate professors of political science in SMU’s Dedman College, will make the pilgrimage, along with CRP Trip Coordinator Ray Jordan of the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life.
Participants “will meet and talk with the keepers of history,” says Simon, whose undergraduate course “Basic Issues in American Democracy” includes a focus on civil rights issues. “This trip helps to achieve what I call immersion – students will see and experience what they’ve been studying in my class.”
The 8-day journey includes stops in Little Rock, Arkansas; Selma (for the Bloody Sunday anniversary), Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama; Oxford, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee.
Watch the SMU Forum for more news about the 2009 Pilgrimage. (Above, 2008 pilgrimage participants visit Brown Chapel AME Church where the Selma-to-Montgomery marches were staged and to which marchers retreated on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965. Coach Lawrence Huggins, a teacher at the time of the marches, is standing in front of the group.)