The Sojourn Project is a civil rights education project that takes high school students from around the nation to historical civil rights landmarks throughout the South. From time to time, we use this newsletter to publicize our program and encourage involvement from the African-American community. For more information about the program, please visit http://www.sojournproject.org.
INDEPENDENCE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GRANT SUPPORTS CIVIL RIGHTS EDUCATION PROJECT IN BROOKLYN
For Immediate Release – January 30, 2001
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- On the eve of Black History Month, the New York chapter of the Sojourn civil rights project today proudly announced the receipt of a grant from the Independence Community Foundation (ICF) that will underwrite a Brooklyn public high school student for a 10-day travel-study program to civil rights landmarks in the South. The student will join a group of New York City and California students who qualify for expeditions scheduled for spring 2001. In addition to this student scholarship, the ICF grant will provide organizational support for Sojourn to present a course on civil rights history to students from Brooklyn high schools and non-profit programs.
Marilyn G. Gelber, Executive Director of ICF, said: “Independence Foundation is pleased to support such a worthy project. We are particularly delighted that this $5,000 grant will allow a Brooklyn student to explore firsthand the roots of our nation’s civil rights movement and personally observe the extraordinary change that leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped to bring about. By understanding history, young people will be better prepared to combat bigotry today.”
ICF’s advocacy on behalf of Sojourn has been a vital factor in successfully introducing the project to Brooklyn and its broad network of philanthropic support. According to Sojourn board member NY State Assemblyman Roger Green (57th AD), “The staff at ICF vetted the program as it rolled out in Brooklyn last summer. Then they pledged their support. And then they went the extra mile, providing introductions to other supporters. Without the foresight and generosity of ICF, Sojourn’s presence in New York would still be a dream. ICF made it real.” Mr. Green chairs the Assembly Committee on Children & Families in Albany.
Sojourn provides an opportunity for high school students from New York City, San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles to travel to the South and study the civil rights era in intimate settings. The program’s itinerary includes Washington DC, Atlanta, Tuskegee, Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Jackson, Little Rock and Memphis. By way of a “living history” syllabus — books, documentaries, recordings and on-site visits with civil rights veterans — lessons of tolerance, nonviolence, personal courage, compassion, forgiveness, faith, hope, justice and civic responsibility are imparted during expeditions.
John Lewis (U.S. Congressman), Myrlie Evers-Williams (Medgar Evers’ widow), members of the Little Rock Nine, voting rights pioneer Robert Moses, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth (leader of the 1963 Birmingham movement), Chris McNair (father of one of four little girls killed in a Birmingham church bombing) and Martin Luther King III, among others, meet with students and teachers during their many stops through the South.
Since February 1999, Sojourn has conducted eight civil rights expeditions. More than 665 participants have met with civil rights veterans who have shared the program’s ethical lesson plans. By the end of this school year, Sojourn will have served more than 1000 students. To visit Sojourn’s Web site, click: . To visit the Web site of the Independence Community Foundation, click:
“Until justice rolls down like waters
and righteousness like a mighty stream.”