Celebrating the Victory of the Selma March

March 6-8, 2015

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary

of the March from Selma to Montgomery and the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Friday, March 6th, 2015 to Sunday, March 8th, 2015

We shall overcome!  From March 6th-8th, Selma, Alabama.
Join The Common Good as we retrace the steps of a major chapter in U.S. history.  Millions of Americans owe a great deal of gratitude to the courageous actions of those who stood up and added their voices and footsteps – and sometimes sacrificed even their lives – to the civil rights movement. This battle was critical in providing the moral outrage that braced the demand for greater fairness and equality for millions of African Americans at a time when sitting with dignity at a lunch counter or casting a vote was stymied at every turn. The social revolution that resulted through the use of civil disobedience and peaceful protest showed how a call to conscience could achieve lasting, substantial change. These heroic Americans also spurred the expansion of human rights, not only for countless millions of women, gays, lesbians, and others as the wave for equal rights rippled through our country, but their brave efforts also benefited millions around the globe through the expansion of this enormously important idea of freedom and dignity for all.
Please join us for all or part of our remarkable 3 day journey.  Only 8-14 TCG members and their guests will be able to go. Please indicate interest or book TODAY. You can call the office at 212-599-7040 or email Serena Sharma at serenas@thecommongood.net The deadline to RSVP and make your payment is February 13, 2015.
At a time of worldwide radical religious violence and hate, a rising tide of anti-semitism, a continuing battle against assault and inequality of women, stubborn intolerance towards gays and lesbians, the need for more accountability for law enforcement and the judicial system, the ever-increasing tension concerning immigrants and immigration policy, we seek to remember the power of tolerance and compassion and the importance of preserving the integrity and dignity for both the strongest and the weakest among us.
ITINERARY:  Here is a general breakdown of the trip:
Friday, March 6, 2015:  We leave JFK Airport and fly to Birmingham, Alabama, to explore the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement. We arrive and our picked up by mini-van and have lunch in Birmingham.  After lunch, our guide, an expert steeped in the area’s history, will provide a 3-4 hour tour of some of the most important points of interest within the Birmingham Civil Rights District, including:
  • 16th Street Baptist Church: This is the site of a major turning point in the Civil Rights movement. White supremacists bombed the church on Sunday, September 16, 1963 and four young African American girls were killed in the bombing, shocking the nation.
  • Kelly Ingram Park:  During the first week of May 1963, Birmingham police and firemen attacked civil rights demonstrators, many of whom were children, in the streets bordering this park. The violence raised a nationwide public outcry, hastening integration in America’s most segregated city.
  • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: How do we explore all the issues of this incredible time in US history?  Race, freedom, white hate groups and the Ku Klux Klan, peaceful change, a legacy of slavery and prejudice, actions taken by regular citizens that grow from a ripple to a river of hope.   This is such an important and dark period of American history and so important for every American to learn about.  This research institute and museum provides essential information and context for the struggles and successes of the Civil Rights Movement.
This walk through history will be followed by an intimate dinner that will include several guests who have made contributions to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, as well as contributed the human rights movement of the present.  We overnight in Marion, AL, at the Sleep Inn and Suites hotel.
Saturday, March 7th – Our guests will have the opportunity to explore Selma, AL, with our guided visit of the important sites that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, another major turning point in U.S. history.  A tour of the civil rights sites of Montgomery, AL, will be available for those who wish to spend a half day there as well.
Some of the landmarks in Selma include:
  • The Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church: Both the building and the members of Brown Chapel AME Church played pivotal roles in the Selma marches that helped lead to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
  • The Edmund Pettus Bridge:  The site of a horrific attack on some 600 civil rights demonstrators, marching from Selma to Montgomery. When the then Alabama governor George Wallace ordered state and local police to stop the march on grounds of public safety, the group was confronted by authorities armed with billy clubs and tear gas in what infamously became known as “Bloody Sunday.”  Ironically, given the importance of the bridge in the fight for civil rights, the bridge was named after Edmund Winston Pettus, a Brigadier General in the Civil War who led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
Saturday night we dine in Selma along with invited guests, elected officials, activists and artists  from the Civil Rights and other human rights movements.  We overnight at the Sleep Inn and Suites hotel in Marion, AL.

Sunday, March 8th – We start the day with brunch in Selma and then we join the Re-Enactment of the March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, along with other Civil Rights leaders from around the nation, for this major celebratory event.

Selma bridge crossing 1.jpg

The Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks–and three events–that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a “symbolic” march to the bridge. Then civil rights leaders sought court protection for a third, full-scale march from Selma to the state capitol in Montgomery. Federal District Court Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr.,  weighed the right of mobility against the right to march and ruled in favor of the demonstrators. On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965–the best possible redress of grievances.
Early Sunday evening, we provide transportation to the airport at Montgomery, AL for flights back to New York.
In addition to  plans have been made for Birmingham and Selma, members can choose to venture on their own and experience the Jubilee celebrations, or they can choose to join us as we continue our Civil Rights adventure to Montgomery, AL.
COST:  We expect the total cost of the trip including one or two TCG staff, airfare, hotel, transportation and vehicles, tour guides, dinners Friday and Saturday will be about $2000.  RSVP today!  If you would like to provide input or advice on the trip, please contact the office at 212-599-7040 or email Serena Sharma at serenas@thecommongood.net

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s