Daily Archives: March 14, 2014

Civil rights movement isn’t over

An update from Jillian, a senior anthropology and human rights major: As our trip comes to an end, I find myself very challenged by the ironic juxtaposition of the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the real-time condition of the movement's participants. During our visit at Mt. Zion Church yesterday, our guest speaker was asked what the individuals who spent great time and energy fighting for the right to vote did after they had succeeded. The answer she gave was simple, yet shocking: they went back home. The current reality for those who fought and advocated for civil rights, in addition to their children, continues to be one of perpetual poverty and societal oppression. While we cannot forget about [...]

2014-03-17T09:29:34+00:00 March 14th, 2014|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2014|

Bearing witness today

An update from Amber, a junior political science and human rights major: When I decided to come to France with the Human Rights group, I didn't really know what to expect. As a Human Rights major, I have been exposed to some of the worst examples of human rights violations. On this trip we visited multiple Holocaust memorial sites and I realized that no matter how much you are exposed to the violation of human beings, it never becomes any easier to accept or understand. It is just as hard to bear witness today as it was when I first began my Human Rights journey. I am reminded that humanity is capable of great good and great harm, and it [...]

2014-03-14T15:52:57+00:00 March 14th, 2014|Human Rights, France|

From Madison’s home to DC

This day would be our final full day together. The morning was both exciting and bittersweet. The Hampton Inn provided a lovely continental breakfast. One by one, we arrived with our suitcases to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to Montpelier and James Madison’s home. Madison’s plantation was by far the prettiest of the presidential properties, although Monticello may have given it a run for its money if the flowers and vineyard had been in bloom. Montpelier was situated amidst clear, rolling hills, and the property was tastefully contained by forest green wooden fences. I could almost see the flowers and tobacco plants in my mind’s eye as I soaked in the view of the land, and the mental image [...]

2014-04-11T17:08:29+00:00 March 14th, 2014|Sara in Colonial Virginia|

Remembering the innocent

An update from Jennifer, who earned a Master of Liberal Studies in 2010 and is pursuing a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study focused on human rights and social justice: Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the house, the town where you grew up – what it looked and sounded like during springtime, who your neighbors were, what you did on a regular Saturday afternoon. Could you ever conceive of your memories being shattered by the encirclement of your town by an invading army bent on killing everyone who lived there? The 642 people in Oradour-sur-Glane near Limoges, France, probably never imagined that could happen to them, but it did – on June 10, 1944. German soldiers from a Waffen SS unit separated the men from [...]

2014-03-14T16:01:01+00:00 March 14th, 2014|Human Rights, France|

Still close to tragedy

An update from Katie, a graduate student in Liberal Studies: March 11. Oradour-sur-Glane. The quiet, sunny tranquility of the day sharpened the contrast between today and the day everyone in this town of 642 was brutally murdered by Nazis. After visiting the roofless church where all the women and children were killed, I felt so weighted by sorrow and grief that I was unable to lift my head. Among the spartan remains of what was only recently a life-filled town, a rusted car rests. It is so recognizably modern; it is a chilling reminder of how close we still are to this tragedy, and how easily it could happen again. March 12. Izieu. At this place, Klaus Barbie, the "butcher of [...]

2014-03-14T12:00:53+00:00 March 14th, 2014|Human Rights, France|

Our warm welcome in Cuba

Early morning laborers harvest produce at Matanzas seminary A sunrise walk back to the beautiful ocean overlook in front of the Matanzas seminary chapel reveals a number of laborers at work with the morning’s harvest. The seminary produces a substantial portion of the food we eat each day, with sufficient extra to provide much-needed fresh produce for sale to the local community at below-market prices. At the same time, it provides valuable employment for local workers. Today’s journey will prove to be a high point on this immersion experience. It is a drive of several hours to visit Cristo Rey (Christ the King) Episcopal Church, a house church in the rural area of Cuatro Esquinas. While enjoying the [...]

2014-03-20T16:57:53+00:00 March 14th, 2014|Perkins School of Theology in Cuba|