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SMU’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage makes lasting impact on travelers

Daily Campus

Originally Posted: March 22, 2017

While spring break often marks a time of relaxation and rest from the busy semester, for some SMU students, faculty and community members it was a lesson in humility. A small group embarked on the annual civil rights trip through the American South.


James Samuel stands in front of Little Rock Central High School while on the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Photo credit: James Samuel

The pilgrimage is a collaborative effort between the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program and the Office of the Chaplin and Religious Life. Participants travel to numerous civil rights landmarks including the birthplace of Martin Luther King. SMU junior James Samuel found himself engaging in a symbolic opportunity as he was asked to open the front door.

“Opening this door is symbolic of opening humanity,” Samuel said.

The 2017 trip comes at a time when the SMU community is grieving the loss of Political Science Professor and founding member of the John Tower Center for Political Studies Dennis Simon. However, students and faculty alike also celebrated the incredible insight he provided as he led the annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage. READ MORE