DETROIT (WXYZ) - On June 16, a group of 37 local and out-of-state high school students will depart by bus for a two-week tour in the Deep South, visiting historic sites related to the 1960s civil rights struggle.
Sponsored by the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, the 2013 Freedom Tour will stop first in Atlanta at The King Center for four days of non-violence training. After that, the group continues on to Alabama and Mississippi to visit numerous locales and institutions, including the Rosa Parks Museum, Freedom Rides Museum, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Tuskegee Institute and a walk across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge.
In the early 60s, the original Freedom Riders and their civil rights activist contemporaries challenged the racial segregation practices which existed throughout the Deep South. Their courageous non-violent protests focused the nation's attention on racial inequality and built understanding and support for the American civil rights movement.
"This trip provides a unique opportunity for these young people to experience the remarkable history of the civil rights movement first-hand. In addition, it will teach them about the importance of tolerance, human equality and justice - ideas that are just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago," said Cary McGehee, chair of the Coalition and one of the trip's chaperones.