Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2014

2014 marks the 10th Anniversary of the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The eight-day bus journey takes students, faculty and staff to visit the American South’s civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. The group’s stops include Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas; the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama; Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King served as pastor; the campus of Ole Miss in Oxford; and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. King was assassinated.

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Meeting new friends


An update from Denice, a graduate student in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis on social justice and human rights:

It is absolutely wonderful traveling with this crew. We have met many wonderful people: each other, distinguished guests, waitstaff, hotel staff, fabulous tour guides and random people interested in who we are, where we have been and where we are headed.

One young man, a graduate student at the University of Alabama, stopped by our table at lunch with questions of the buttons I was wearing. One is the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage pin: red oval with the University’s name on the outside and CRP in the center. The other one was given to each of us by the Civil Rights Museum.

The student listened to us discuss our program, our trip thus far and plans we have for the rest of the week. He gave a list of other areas to visit throughout Montgomery and Alabama.

It is a privilege to be immersed in so much history. I wish we had the time to experience it all. Doing the pilgrimage has brought me a keener understanding of the courage of those who fought this tough but necessary battle. I do appreciate the sacrifices made to make this country a little more satisfying for everyone.

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