Why participate in this program? Why with Orbridge? Why now?
In 2019, Orbridge, in partnership with a non-profit organization in Alabama, began thoughtfully designing this travel learning experience that leverages unique relationships and knowledge of a vital subject and region.
With this program you'll encounter history as never before, with the opportunity to learn in-depth from knowledgeable guides, speakers, and actual foot soldiers. Discover stories and perspectives not readily taught (or even known) in conventional academia.
Hear Dianne Harris recount of being arrested and stuck in the arm with a cattle prod as a teenage freedom activist and walk with her across the Edmund Pettus Bridge; understand the importance of mass meetings for the Movement by informative discussions with Dr. Martha Bouyer, producer of civil rights curriculum supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities; and listen to historian Joyce O'Neal share her knowledge of Brown Chapel AME Church and describe life in Selma before the Voting Rights Act was passed.
Orbridge's Civil Rights program also delivers enrichment from noteworthy participants Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Wanda Battle, and Sandy Taylor.
Over lunch in Montgomery, hear from author and civil rights activist Peggy Wallace Kennedy, daughter of two Alabama governors, including George Wallace—one of the most prominent faces of segregation. From such a unique background, learn how she has worked to transform a legacy of hate and division into a mission of love and reconciliation. At Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, you're sure to feel uplifted and connected in the presence of its Tour Director Wanda Battle, described by Southern Living as "a joyful, passionate powerhouse of positive energy." Leading tours at this MLK church is not just her job—it's her calling, and time spent together is a mixture of history, therapy, and popular trivia.
How often do you have the chance to dine with recipes featured by scientist George Washington Carver? Sandy Taylor, a retired Superintendent of the National Park Services in Tuskegee, cordially invites you to her home for such an occasion. Not just any house, this historic property built around 1855 was once a slave plantation, and has been painstakingly restored and re-imagined by Sandy and her husband.
The itinerary features many notable and iconic sites, among them the 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge.