Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2018

During spring break 2018, students, faculty and staff take an eight-day bus journey to visit the American South’s civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. Led by Ben Voth, SMU director of debate and associate professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, the 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.

Rev. Robert Graetz

Reverend Robert Graetz was the only white minister in Montgomery willing to help Dr. King with the bus boycott, with Associate Professor and trip leader Ben Voth. "I was honored to give this civil rights hero my book about my favorite civil rights hero James Farmer Jr.," says Voth.

2018-03-15T10:02:12+00:00 March 15th, 2018|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2018|

Memorials all

An update from student Tannah O.: Today we visited the Civil Rights Memorial, the historic Dexter Avenue Church, and the Equal Justice Initiative office in Montgomery, Alabama. The Civil Rights Memorial was powerful, to say the least. It had an exhibit to memorialize the 40 people killed in direct relation to the modern Civil Rights Movement, which of course included so many of the faces we have learned about so far on this trip (Till, Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman, Liuzzo, Reeb, Evers and King) along with so many other people brutally murdered by hate groups like the KKK. In another room, contemporary issues of hate were addressed, such as the deaths of Heather Heyer (woman who was killed at the Charlottesville riot protesting against the alt-right), Islan [...]

2018-03-20T11:55:39+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2018|

A Visit to the Southern Poverty Law Center

An update from student Sadiya P.: Today's trip, we visited one of my utmost favorite place and organization ever: the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)/Civil Rights Memorial Center. Ever since I got into activism and human rights as a teenager, the Southern Poverty Law Center has been one of my inspirations. It is the type of work I want to commit to. They have done so much in creating awareness in regards to the many different types of hate groups and discrimination that exist in the United States as well as around the world. As a Muslim, they were one of the organizations I could always trust to clarify hate groups and hate mongers. They have inspired a young girl, [...]

2018-03-20T11:48:42+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2018|

Tuskegee Bioethics Center/ Selma/Edmund Pettis Bridge

An update from student Justin E.: Today we were exposed to the Tuskegee Syphilis study conducted by the United States Public Health Service. This federally funded medical study raised questions about bioethics and medical research guidelines. In 1932, Dr. Tolliver Clark decided to exploit poor, rural African Americans using deception to discover the natural course of syphilis in the human body. He recruited 600 black men, 399 with syphilis and 201 without. African American nurse Eunice Rivers helped recruit and deceive the men that participated in the study. Essentially, the physician pretended to treat the infected men, but in reality simply observed how their bodies were affected by syphilis. The study lasted until Peter Buxton, who worked for the [...]

2018-03-15T09:47:19+00:00 March 14th, 2018|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2018|

Sit Down

During spring break 2018, students, faculty and staff take an eight-day bus journey to visit the American South’s civil rights landmarks and leaders in the movement. Led by Ben Voth, SMU director of debate and associate professor of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, the 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.

2018-03-15T09:46:37+00:00 March 13th, 2018|Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2018|