By Erika Murphy
The Moreau Center is pretty awesome. We have all these immersions where we get to learn about social justice on the scene with some hands on learning. My own experiences on immersions impacted my entire university experience. I saw how much need there is in the world, and how beautiful the people of this earth are — their joy and sorrow, their hardships and their hope. Immersions have challenged my world views, informed my approach to problem solving, and inspired me to make a difference in ways I’d never imagined, even through small choices like asking someone how they are.
The growth I experienced in each of my opportunities with the Moreau Center makes me all the more excited to be co-leading the Civil Rights Immersion this May with the oh-so-wonderful fellow senior Linda Hong. We’re going to five different states in the south, landing in Birmingham and finishing up with a Habitat for Humanity build in New Orleans. I want my fellow English majors and literature lovers to join me! Think about how much time we spend reading about the world. Now is the time — we’re in college, we’re young, we’re smart! — to explore and gain greater cultural awareness. Particularly with the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s an especially poignant time to be exposing ourselves to the racism and classism present in the United States, and to be aware of the Civil Rights Movement, which is more recent than our generation may realize.
The culture of the Pacific Northwest will, I’m sure, be a stark contrast to what we find in the south. I’m excited for what we’ll learn from the people we meet. We’re going in with the intention of solidarity, being one in the suffering. The practice of social justice involves noticing suffering, yes, but then it asks us to go deeper. It’s the why? behind the suffering. We get three whole weeks to probe and reflect. We’ll talk in depth with experts — the people who lived through the Civil Rights movement, the people who are passionate and on-fire about sharing their experiences with us. It’s truly such a cool opportunity!
So, if you want to join us, check out the Moreau Center website. And if you’re ready to throw your name out there, please apply! I mean it 100% when I say that we want to have you join us! We want your opinions and life experiences with us on this epic road trip. (Although we do fly to Alabama, we’ll be driving from state to state.) The application is live now, so be sure to get started. Send any questions to CivilRights.Immersion@up.edu, or get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Linda Hong (email@example.com). We are absolutely more than happy to answer any questions! Applications will be due October 9.