About Sarah Hanan


On an intellectual high

An update from Mollie, a senior majoring in political science and human rights, with a minor in Chinese. She is conducting research on Justice Black and his interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause: As our trip came to a close, I think most of the group was in disbelief of how fast the week flew by. You know the saying, "time flies when you're having fun," is particularly true when you're researching. Throughout the week, I felt like I was on an intellectual high. Despite getting roughly six hours of sleep each night, I woke up excited to continue my project. I am a creature of habit so having a similar routine every day eliminated distractions that inevitably come with [...]

2015-03-18T16:28:20+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Political Science in Washington, 2015|

A time to process

An update from Dr. Dennis Simon, who leads the Civil Rights Pilgrimage: On Saturday night at approximately 9 PM, forty weary Pilgrims got off the chartered bus at the location where they boarded, with great anticipation, eight days earlier. The Pilgrims gathered their luggage, shook hands, hugged and said their temporary goodbyes. Thirty minutes later, all that remained was the quiet of a near empty campus. What next? I wonder about our extraordinary driver. Did he hear the echoes of the songs as he drove the bus to the depot in Arlington? “I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom …” “We are soldiers in the army …" “Ain’t gonna let nobody turn us round ...” “Ain’t [...]

2015-03-18T16:07:55+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|

The end of my pilgrimage, but not the journey

An update from Laura Lisa, a Master of Liberal Studies student in Organizational Dynamics (culture and business): As we approached the end of the 2015 SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage, I found myself feeling sad, overwhelmed, transformed, humbled and honored, yearning to do more. I am a non-traditional student and remember all of these landmark events while I was growing up. Even so, being physically present in Selma and Montgomery, AL, Philadelphia, Jackson and Oxford, MS and finally Memphis, TN, had a profound and chilling effect on me. It was as if I had stepped back in time. Specifically, the Jacob Burkle Estate Museum in Memphis was most chilling and brought tears to my eyes. It was owned by a German [...]

2015-03-19T11:24:55+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|

An unfathomable hate

An update from Tate, a sophomore human rights major: This trip was a lot to take in, but what really hit me was the murder of Medgar Evers at his home. The realness of his murder, and the other murders of Civil Rights Soldiers, just didn’t seem as real to me until I was told the type of gun it was. I grew up in a family of hunters, and I have shot the same type of rifle that killed Evers. I even have a bullet casing in my room that I kept as a souvenir of the first animal I shot with it. I just still can’t imagine the amount of hatred the man who shot Evers could have [...]

2015-04-02T16:49:29+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|

The music of the movement

An update from Tom, a Master of Liberal Studies student studying human rights: The Stax Museum in Memphis was amazing and the ideal, uplifting closing activity to leave us with some bounce in our step. If I had come in with any doubts (and I don't think I had) as to the integral role of music in the Movement, then every single museum and speaker has put those doubts to rest... and the Stax Museum captured the power of the music as it began to spread beyond the churches and the Movement and into mainstream America. I had met Johnnie Taylor years ago, when his daughter was in my 6th grade homeroom at Greenhill, so it was fun to learn [...]

2015-03-24T17:08:08+00:00 March 16th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|

The Dream is real at BB Kings

An update from Garrett, a junior double majoring in business management and public policy: On our last night of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage, many of my fellow pilgrims and I ate at BB King’s Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee. I ate with individuals of different races, beliefs, and walks of life. I could not help but thinking that this was a small portion of the Dream that Martin Luther King had hoped for. Earlier that day I had walked through the National Civil Rights Museum inside of the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated. I learned so much information about the struggle for Civil Rights and how far we have come as a nation and as a people. However, [...]

2015-03-16T17:00:22+00:00 March 15th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|

What bridges still must be crossed?

An update from Amanda, a senior human rights and environmental engineering major: The last eight days have been an overwhelming experience that I will never forget. One of the most impactful moments for me was marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with thousands of people to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. The first march from Selma to Montgomery was monumental for the civil rights movement with thousands of courageous foot soldiers risking their lives for equality. As we were making our way over to the bridge, someone in the crowd asked us, “What is your personal Edmund Pettus Bridge?” When she asked me this, I didn’t have an immediate answer and have been thinking about it ever since [...]

2015-03-16T16:23:40+00:00 March 14th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|

A whole new view of history

An update from Madeleine, a senior human rights major: We are back in Dallas! After a full week of traveling around the Deep South and learning as much as possible about the Civil Rights Movement, we are finally back home all safe and sound. This past week has been incredibly moving. I feel so lucky to have gone on this trip. My favorite thing that we got to experience was marching across the bridge in Selma on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. We did this at the beginning of the week, and subsequently went to museums where we learned about all of the events leading up to it, and the many impacts that were the results of that day. [...]

2015-03-16T16:18:40+00:00 March 14th, 2015|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2015|
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