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“I think that knowing that the Civil Rights Movement isn’t over, that there is still so much work to do, and it can be really carried forward by the young people of the world who have been gifted with this knowledge.”

 

In a few months the 8th grade class is going to Alabama and Georgia to continue our study of the civil rights movement. Lagunitas has been taking the 8th grade on this trip since 2019. The trip is a culmination of a year of study and is something students start looking forward to as soon as they get to Middle School. 

 

At the beginning of the trip we fly to Atlanta, Georgia. Over the few days we are there, we will visit Martin Luther King Jr’s house and meet Joanne Bland in Selma. She was the youngest person on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday. The next day we will go to the Legacy Museum, and then the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, both of these are built by Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative. We will also explore Atlanta and Birmingham, stay in hotels and eat in local restaurants. 

 

 “During the pandemic I had worked a lot on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice issues through my work at the radio station, and for me personally. This was my first trip post-lockdown. After interviewing Katherine Sanford to raise awareness about the trip I pretty much decided on the spot that I wanted to go. It was really impactful to be in the actual places and have the knowledgeable guide and the well-prepared students. My eyes were opened even wider about racism and white privilege and it has helped me continue on my path of learning how to be a better ally to people of color, and to recognize and check my white privilege.” This is a quote from Amanda Eichstaedt, who works at  KWMR radio. She went on the trip last year to learn about the trip and interview some of the students who were there. She made an audio documentary of the trip available above this article or here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myROZyQM7dk.

 

She generously agreed to allow me to interview her about the experience. When asked about the behavior and respect of the students on the trip she said: “Katherine said it was a good group, and she was not kidding. It was a cordial group that listened and were intent upon furthering their learning.” 

 

 This trip is a very good learning experience and there has already been so much learning about the civil rights movement in class that I think it’ll be great to see the places where it all happened. It seems so much easier to picture what happened and so meaningful to meet people who were there and hear about their experiences and life living in Alabama at the time of the civil rights movement. Amanda shared with me that she did not learn as much about the civil rights movement when she was in school. “We did not learn much about this time period except a bit about John Lewis and JFK. I had heard of Selma and knew about it from reading things throughout my life, but what a gift for these students to get this level of understanding about a period of time that was important, and to see how we still have so much work to do to repair the wounds of racism, not just in the US, but around the world.” Amanda really appreciated the opportunity to travel with the students and meet so many interesting people from the civil rights movement. I loved listening to her audio documentary. It made me feel even more excited about the trip. 

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About the Contributor
Alyssa White, Writer
Alyssa White is an 8th grader at Lagunitas Middle School. She grew up in Marin County, California and is 13 years old. She likes to listen to music.
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