In Montgomery, AL, the UMD trip participants visited the Civil Rights Memorial, the Civil Rights Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Rosa Parks Library.

Reflections about the sites in Montgomery
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“Visiting the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery was an incredibly moving experience. As I added my name to the wall of thousands who have taken a pledge to work for justice, I realized that I am not alone in this work, and that there is hope that the small things we do will add up to big things over time.” — Gail Schoenfelder

“The Civil Rights Memorial Center had a gallery for individuals that have been killed because of a hate crimes around the world.  They listed a child from Rwanda who was remembered because of the 1994 genocide. It put many things into perspective. Violations of human rights occur in so many places. I definitely want to be more vocal about standing for what is right and that starts with not being neutral on issues. Indecisiveness is also a choice and it always benefits the people in power.” — Nemuel Nyangaresi

“My sadness was overwhelming at the Southern Poverty Law Center when we saw displays about ongoing struggles worldwide. We knew our injustice. We know the injustice. We still have far to go.” — Gay Trachsel

“Experiencing the displays the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, I was struck by the importance of unity and perseverance in order to accomplish significant Civil Rights gains. I was impressed that the community kept the bus boycott going for thirteen months. Instead of riding buses, people walked to work, some as far as 14 miles. They organized carpools, a taxi service, and they persevered, even when the city kept changing the rules for taxis.” — Betty Greene

“When we toured the Civil Rights Memorial Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center, we saw a water wall displaying Dr. Martin Luther King’s words ‘Until Justice Rolls Down Like Water and Righteousness Like a Mighty Stream.’ Nearby on a circle water fountain, the names of lost souls were displayed and I focused on Emmett Till. He was a 14-year old African American boy from Chicago who was visiting family in Mississippi. He was brutally beaten, tortured, shot, and thrown in a river. His face unrecognizable by his mother. Emmett lost his life because a white women reported to her husband that he flirted with her. My thoughts and prayers went to his mother who decided to have an open casket so that the whole world could see what was done to her son. As a mother I thought about my two sons, and I wondered what I would have done if this happened to me.” — Mary L. Cameron

“I was filled with emotion when we visited the  Voting Rights Museum. Not only were we given a great explanation of the events leading up to Bloody Sunday and the march from Selma to Montgomery, we were able to see artifacts from the Civil Rights era. I was full of dread seeing the Ku Klux Klan uniform, then filled with determination seeing the cast footprints of those who marched, and finally was given hope seeing photos of President Obama. These objects and photos reaffirmed my belief that this history is not just relevant to the past, but that it continues into the history being written today.” Lee Cygan

“The memorial at the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery is simple in its tribute. The moving water across the black granite circle is much like an organism, keeping alive the words and the names of 40 people who were killed during the struggle. We were called to make a commitment to work against hate and justice of all kinds and to remember ‘the 40 names that have not been forgotten.’ ”  — Kandi Geary

“At the Civil Rights Museum in Montgomery we heard the story of a immigrant from Senegal who was shot at a Denver bus stop. The shooter asked, ‘Are you ready to die like a nigger,’ before he fired the gun. It was so sad because every one I know that has come to the U.S., came for a better life. This man was murdered just for the color of his skin. He thought he would have a better life but instead, racism took his life.” — Karachi Ugwu