For Immediate Release
March 1, 2018
CONTACT: Dr. Nyla Rosen
Director, Jack O’Dell Education Center
Cell 253 508 3250
Institute for Community Leadership student to represent the 9th Congressional District on Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage
Kent, WA— Institute for Community Leadership student Isaac Sotelo has been selected as a youth to represent Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and the Ninth Congressional District, in the 2018 Faith and Politics Institute Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage. Thirty members of Congress representing both political parties and the House and Senate, visit historically significant sites in our nation’s Civil Rights history. Congressional members and their guests travel to Memphis, Tennessee, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama, March 1-4.
Sotelo, a senior at Kentwood High School, has led numerous civic engagement projects over the past four years. He played a fundamental role in establishing a student-led voter registration drive at Kentwood High School. Sotelo also teaches nonviolence classes with the Institute for Community Leadership throughout the year.
This year marks 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. The delegation will place a wreath at the Lorraine Motel and tour the National Civil Rights Museum. From there, the delegation travels to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma Alabama, visiting with people who participated directly in the major events that helped create the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
This year’s pilgrimage is hosted by the Honorable Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), with Pilgrimage Chair, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). Sotelo, the Institute youth delegate represents the Ninth Congressional District, and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA).
“The pilgrimage from Memphis, Tennessee to Selma, Alabama will help participants understand the historical events and locations of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “It is incredibly meaningful for Isaac Sotelo to represent not only myself but the Ninth District at the 2018 Faith and Politics Institute Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage. As a Kent resident, he will honor, remember and learn about the most pivotal moments in our history, truly understanding how these events are still pertinent to the country, and the state of Washington”.
With respect to the Institute for Community Leadership’s commitment to civic engagement and Sotelo’s’ participation on the pilgrimage, Rep. Adam Smith added “It is crucial to be engaged in our community. It not only strengthens the community but the structure of our democracy. Through this important work, as individuals, we are able to better understand the needs of others and embrace other’s differences. Community engagement has sparked some of the most significant movements in our history, such as the Civil Rights Movement, which has been the primary driver of racial equity for African-Americans”.
In addition to the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, in Birmingham, the delegation visits the Civil Rights Institute and 16th Street Baptist Church, in Montgomery, the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Memorial, Rosa Parks Museum, and the Sothern Poverty Law Center. The delegation concludes the pilgrimage in Selma, with a program at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, and a historic walk across the Edmund Pettis Bridge, led by Rep. John Lewis.
For social media links, interviews, or photo opportunities, please contact Dr. Nyla Rosen, 253 508 3250, Nyla@icleadership.org.