Thank you for your interest in the Spring 2018 pilgrimage. Our application is now open!
The idea for an interracial, intergenerational civil rights pilgrimage was conceived in the summer of 2013 and we have learned so much along the way. In 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. At Project Pilgrimage we are called to action, attention and participation in continuing the work started by civil rights leaders. We believe in the power of ‘going together’, of learning our histories, of listening and speaking across our differences. We are committed to change through understanding.
Due to the high demand and interest in the civil rights pilgrimages, participation is a highly selective process. When seating the bus, we seek to include a broad range of folks with these characteristics in mind:
1. Diversity across racial, age, gender, and economic standings
2. A fundamental desire to study the arc of the Black American freedom struggle
3. A clear, determined commitment to racial and social justice
4. A belief in the value and essentiality of cross-racial relationship-building
5. A collective full investment in all aspects of the experience
Our experience includes these three key components:
We begin our journey with learning and community building. We come together once a week for six 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 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; Oxford and Philadelphia, MS; Nashville and Memphis, TN; and visit organizations such as the 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.
We believe in an educational 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. These workshops can occur before our pilgrimage, during our pre-pilgrimage meetings, and after our return home. Some of our previous workshops have been conducted at: The Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, TN; the William Winter Institute at the University of Mississippi; the University of Alabama; and locally facilitated by Dr. Bernard Lafayette – one of the lead organizers with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
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 took extraordinary actions to change the system
The application begins on the following page. The deadline for completion is Wednesday, November 15th at 5:00pm.
We will notify all applicants of their selection status by November 20th. Those who are invited to participate will need to join a conference call for further pilgrimage details.
The deadline to confirm your seat on the Spring 2018 pilgrimage will be December 6th, 2017
We recommend that you copy and paste questions into a separate word document to answer. Questions answered in the survey may not be saved if you end your session early.
If we can address any questions, please let us know. We look forward to your application and to this work together.
Apply now for the Spring 2018 pilgrimage.