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2018 Civil Rights Trip

For Holden Arquilevich ’20, Lacey Crosby ’22, Miracle Farr ’20, Cody Gracie ’19, Emmett Hill ’19, Elliot Jackson ’22, Derrick King ’19, Allison Martin ’22, Kevin Martin ’20, Johnathan Martinez ’19, Kailey Miller ’21, Kameron Molloy ’21, Eliot Peterson ’20, Marchelle Williams ’19, and John Wiltgen ’20, Fall Break brought the opportunity to go on the annual Hendrix Civil Rights Trip, funded by the Odyssey Program. The group, led by Dean of Students Jim Wiltgen and Chaplain J.J. Whitney ’96, made stops in Birmingham, Montgomery, Marion, and Selma, Ala., Jackson, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn., to visit museums, memorials, and historic sites. Alumnus Jack Singleton ’62 came along for his third trip with the group. Jack is recognized as a foot soldier of the civil rights movement for his participation in the Ministers’ March in March of 1965. He was able to help give students firsthand accounts of the events from that march.  

The theme of this year’s trip was “Civil Rights and the Law.” One highlight of the trip may have been the group’s private meeting with Justice Myron Thompson, who is one of the longest tenured federal justices in the United States. Justice Thompson met with the group in the same courtroom where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks had their hearings and he talked about his path to the bench, the role of justices on civil rights, and the history/legacy of that particular court. “It is humbling to be on this trip with passionate young people who will soon be lawyers, teachers, community builders, and social changers,” Rev. Whitney wrote in one of her social media posts from the road.

The group also visited Zion United Methodist Church in Marion for a discussion about Jimmie Lee Jackson and the role of Marion as the impetus for the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Afterward, they visited the Brown Chapel, National Park Interpretive Center, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Later they went to the Legacy Museum and Memorial centers, the Freedom Riders exhibit, and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery. For the first time, on their final day of the trip, the group stopped at the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson. The final stop for the group was at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. 

View photos from the trip