U.Va. Offers Julian Bond-led 'Civil Rights South' Bus Tour

Oct. 18, 2007 — University of Virginia history professor and civil rights icon Julian Bond will lead the second annual "Civil Rights South" tour through Georgia and Alabama on March 1-7, 2008. Registration opens Friday, Oct. 19, for the bus tour, which will begin and end in Atlanta, the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. From there, the tour will visit historic landmarks like the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., museums such as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and organizations including the Southern Poverty Law Center that continue today to carry on the work of the Civil Rights Movement.

"The route has the advantage of following the movement's development chronologically," said Bond, current chairman of the NAACP and co-founder in 1960 of the influential Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The route runs from Atlanta to Tuskegee, Ala., where the voting rights movement began in the early 1950s; to Montgomery, Ala., where Rosa Parks led the watershed bus boycott (1955-56); to Selma, Ala., where civil rights activists in 1963 began an influential effort to register black voters; and on to Birmingham, the site of the historic 1963 Children’s March and home to the Civil Rights Museum.

This seven-day Travel and Learn program, offered by the University of Virginia's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, is open to anyone.  Prices range between $1995 and $2845 per person, depending on accommodation choices, and include all site fees, program materials, and all meals except one dinner and lunch. (Price doesn't include airfare to Atlanta, where the tour begins and ends.) Participants will be lodged at centrally located hotels in Atlanta, Montgomery and Birmingham. Registration will remain open until the trip is filled.

Register and learn more at www.virginia.edu/travelandlearn/2008civilrights.html.

Highlights of last year's trip included:

•  Bond's interview of Rep. John Lewis about Bloody Sunday
•  Reflections from Rev. Robert Graetz, the white pastor of a black church in Montgomery during the movement
•  Visiting the Southern Poverty Law Center and hearing from Richard Cohen, president and CEO
•  Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge
•  Camille Morgan reading letters sent to her husband after he spoke out against the Birmingham church bombing that killed four black girls.

"I want participants to come away with some sense that most of the movement's participants weren't the famous; they were the nameless — ordinary people who in extraordinary times did extraordinary things," Bond said.

Read about last year's tour at www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/newsRelease.php?id=2358.

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