These are the days the echoes of the past can be heard. Their voices are loud and proud….Each life touched continues the story. But even a shout will die with enough distance.
Today we spent the day speaking with leaders in Montgomery, Alabama, during our “Nonviolence in the 21st Century” bootcamp. Nine students and staff have come together for a week with a cohort of peers and leaders in Montgomery and Selma to integrate young people into civic engagement and together study how to transform ourselves to change our communities and country.
Dr. Valda Harris Montgomery shared with us the incredible history of centennial hill, showing us the exact places revered heroes of the past once walked, talked, and lived during the civil rights movement. Walking on the paths the Freedom Riders Marched, the room where they strategized, the home where they healed, the exact spot Dr. King’s house was bombed. This knowledge and experience is one we will value for the rest of our lives.
Mrs. Sheyanne Webb-Christberg shared with us her memories and insights about where we go from here. Today. Teaching us the importance of educating ourselves in the science of organizing.
It was inspiring to see Mayor Stephen Reed, a young, as well as the first African American mayor of Montgomery. In response to a question on fear and cowardice, he reminded us that every leader has felt fear and it is the passion for the cause they fight for that helps them step up and make the most out of every opportunity presented before them. An incredibly helpful message for all who listened.
Dr. Richard Bailey taught us the importance of history and how this knowledge frames our present as well as the future.