Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2010

During Spring Break 2010, students, faculty and staff are taking an eight-day bus ride to the American South’s civil rights landmarks, with stops in Little Rock, Arkansas; Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama; Jackson and Oxford, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee. They will be led by Ray Jordan of the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life; Dennis Simon, associate professor of political science in Dedman College; and junior Linwood Fields, a political science and English major who participated in the 2009 pilgrimage.

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On the road to Little Rock

RonCivilRightsPilgrimage.jpg An update from Master of Liberal Studies student Ron:

Our diverse group of pilgrims gathers outside of Hughes-Trigg at 4 p.m. for our 318 mile bus trip to Little Rock. Our group is mostly female. We range in age from 20 to 60. Never thought I would be the far righthand side of a bell curve. Ray Jordan, our tour leader, hands out the roommate assignments. Strange, there are three guys in my two-bed hotel room. My undergrad roommates inform me this is standard operating college student travel procedure. Bummer.

After a nice prayer from SMU Chaplain Rev. Dr. Stephen Rankin, we are off. You can spot the undergrads … they are curled up under blankets fast asleep. Dr. Dennis Simon, my professor for my MLS class and our faculty leader and travel guide, slips in a three-hour PBS Special video on the life and times of George Wallace titled “Setting the Woods on Fire.” As we rock on the bus back and forth on I-30 to Little Rock, I have plenty of time to think about what lies ahead. Little Rock, Jackson/Selma, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Oxford and Memphis … towns that I learned about as a middle and high school student on the nightly TV news in the 1960s.

I can’t wait.

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