Applications accepted on a rolling basis through January 24, 2020.
Our 13th Pilgrimage will be a meditation on our shared history and the powerful transformation that comes when we listen and learn to understand. We will work with leaders of the movement, including Bernard LaFayette, Bob Zellner, and Carolyn McKinstry to examine lessons learned from movement organizing. We will deepen our understanding of how to shift and change our worlds and work towards shaping a new path forward.
This will be an interracial and intergenerational group, 35-40 adults (age 21 or older).
Previous Pilgrimage participants are encouraged to apply for this deep dive experience
Dates and Applications
Travel dates: February 22 – March 1, 2020
The cost of the Pilgrimage is all inclusive, with the exception of airfare to and from the South. Food, lodging, ground transportation and admission to various sites is included in the cost.
Project Pilgrimage is committed to creating equitable access to our Pilgrimages. If cost is a barrier to your participation, we offer a limited number of scholarships on a sliding scale.
We are committed to change through understanding
At Project Pilgrimage we are called to action, attention and participation in continuing the work started by our civil rights leaders. The idea for an interracial, intergenerational pilgrimage was conceived in the summer of 2013. In these past months and years we have spent time listening, learning and growing together, as the contexts of racial justice have continued to change. The Black Lives Matter movement has emerged through the hard-won lessons and the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. Our deeply divided political environment is a gulf which is widening at an alarming rate. We believe in the power of ‘going together’, of learning our histories, of listening and speaking across our differences.
We go together
Due to the high interest in the pilgrimages, participation is a selective and intentional process. When seating the bus, we look to include a broad range of folks with these characteristics in mind:
1. A fundamental desire to study the arc of the Black American freedom struggle
2. A clear, determined commitment to racial and social justice
3. A belief in the value of cross-racial relationship-building
4. Diversity across racial, age, gender, and economic standings
Our experience includes these three key components:
Community Building: We begin our journey with learning and community building. We come together once a week for four or five weeks to build community across differences and educate each other and ourselves on the history and present reality of injustices in our society. We do this through respectful dialogue, reading and video assignments, meaningful listening, and participatory exercises.
We believe in a popular education model in which every person in our community has the capacity to teach and to learn. We engage in a series of workshops to help us build cross-racial understanding and trust.
Travel to Impactful Places and Spaces: We travel to the American South where we visit key places in the civil rights movement and spend time with foot soldiers who participated in the movement in a variety of ways. Some of the places we visit include: Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, AL; Money and Philadelphia, MS; Nashville and Memphis, TN. Some of the organizations we visit, have included Highlander Institute and the Equal Justice Initiative. We engage in learning about our living history from people who were on the front lines of the struggle during the civil rights movement as well as those who are leading the movements of today.
Reflection and Integration: This pilgrimage experience impacts in both expected and surprising ways. As we evolve in this experience it provokes us to examine our cultural systems and where we act, where we disrupt, and how we resist. We are changed. How we see is changed. Our journey is only beginning in many ways. When we get home from the traveling part of our pilgrimage, we reflect on and integrate these seismic shifts. Project Pilgrimage hosts post-travel community conversations, individualized mentoring, and facilitated exercises to enrich and support the work of reflection and integration. We contemplate, talk, write and listen. Our final objective is to take action to change our communities after all we have studied, seen and learned.
Our goals are specific:
- Build an interracial and intergenerational community
- Study the civil rights movement and the arc of the African American freedom struggle, especially the movement strategies
- Study the systems of racial inequity
- Learn from the foot soldiers, lift up the ordinary people who take extraordinary actions to change the systems