Hey family and friends!
In the final segment of the immersion, we were able to physically immerse ourselves in very impactful and powerful places. We traveled from Montgomery to Selma, where thousands of activists marched for their right to vote.
Walking on the Edmund Pettis bridge represented the courage, pride, and triumph of the activists in 1963. It was very powerful to know we stood where such amazing history took place. Seeing the footprints of those who walked and seeing the FBI surveillance pictures of the activists truly depict the impact that Selma had on the civil rights movement. However, even with how many steps forward marches like Selma created, it brings up questions of whether another march like Selma will occur in the future as we continue to battle with civil rights issues.
We then traveled to New Orleans, where we visited the Lower 9th Ward and learned more about the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the city and its marginalized groups. Although the community is not as lively as it once was, the love, courage, and pride of the neighborhood persists through community centers such as the local museum and grocery store. The stories of the individuals who survived Katrina were not forgotten; they are honored and celebrated as the community continues to rebuild.
We continued to learn more about the revitalization of the city at Studio Be, an art exhibit by local painter B Mike, that artistically represented the pain and suffering of Katrina, but also the celebration of black activists and the black community.
In the final portion of this immersion, our group battled with the question of “What is our call to action? What are we going to do with the knowledge we gained throughout the trip?”.
At a panel in Montgomery, we were able to listen to the stories and advice of living members of the civil rights movement. They taught us that it is imperative that we continue to educate ourselves about the systems that oppress marginalized groups. That we must find our call in social justice no matter the career path we pursue, and to act on the issues we are passionate about. We are the generation that is next up to create change.
A huge thank you to the Moreau Center for Service and Justice, Tyler Wagner, and the other immersion leaders for making this experience possible!
Gloria Joseph and Jackson Blum