Friday, March 7, 2014

Civil Rights Spring Break Eve!

We are gearing up for the Bucknell Civil Rights Spring Break trip! Here's how I got involved:

Last year during Spring Break Melissa asked me to drive her and a group of students from Fran's House to the GLAAD Awards in NYC. One of the students that went with us talked non-stop about the Civil Rights Spring Break trip that she went on the previous year. It sounded like a great time. She mentioned that they drove to Memphis and she felt bad for the chaperones because they had to do a lot of driving and it was really hard on them. So I happened to see Vincent Stephens, the director of Multicultural Student Services, and I told him if they ever needed somebody else to drive, I would be willing to do it. Once you tell something to Vincent, he does not forget it. Several months later, he sends me an email asking if I was still interested because they have around 20 students interested in going. I said sure, especially since they decided to change things up and go to Atlanta, Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery. The previous nine years they had gone to Little Rock and Memphis.

Some of the D.C. contingent as they arrived in Montgomery.
Ron is farthest on the right.
I was especially interested in going to Selma, Alabama because of Melissa's father Ron. In 1965, while at Wesley Seminary, Ron responded to a call from Dr. Martin Luther King to attempt a march from Selma to Montgomery to petition Governor Wallace for voting rights. Below are a few of the pictures that Ron took on March 9, 1965.

I am really looking forward to visiting the Edmund Pettus Bridge where the group knelt in prayer before returning back to Brown Chapel.

Dr. King in Brown Chapel

Fred Shuttleworth, Bishop Lord, Ralph Abernathy
and Dr. King at the beginning of the march.

We had a pizza party and final logistical meeting tonight. Everybody is very excited. Our bus leaves for the Philadelphia Airport at 3:15am and since it didn't seem like any of the students had packed yet, I bet there will be some very groggy students. Luckily, I am staying on campus for the night and only have to walk about 100 feet to get to the bus. 

I will try to post every night with pictures for those of you that want to follow along.

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