Students to take spring break bus tour of civil rights movement

NEWPORT, R.I. – About 20 Salve Regina students will spend their spring break (March 7-15) aboard a rolling classroom community tour of the civil rights movement aimed to expand their understanding of one of the most important social movements of our time.

Students participating in the “Civil Rights Bus Tour” will explore the key sites of the era and interact with significant participants of the movement with stops in Washington, D.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Birmingham, Ala. The trip will pay special attention to the power of protest and the ways in which courage and a deep commitment to social justice mark the participants in this movement, both black and white.

 “There are many sites in the United States that are very important when you recall the history of the civil rights movement and I thought it would be a great trip where we could build camaraderie in the process of serving educational goals – learning the history, seeing first-hand the places and understanding the experiences people went through to struggle for freedom, for things that most of us take for granted,” said Dr. Anthony LoPresti, associate professor of religious and theological studies.

Some of the students participating will receive academic credit as part of their “Christian Ethics and Social Issues” course they’ve been enrolled in since January.

“I think reading about this in a textbook or seeing in it a documentary is not the same as going to the locations and meeting people that were involved in protests, meeting people that were arrested and put in jail, meeting people who saw people give up their lives,” said Dr. Timothy Neary, associate professor of history, who will join with Lopresti as faculty on the tour. “I think seeing the actions of some of these veterans of the civil rights movement can inspire people and humble people but it can make them reflect upon their own place in American society.”