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The Gordon School

Eighth grade Civil Rights Trip

above: Leah Harrison-Lurie '16 and Maddie Lee '16 returned to Gordon last spring to talk with faculty about the profound impact the Civil Rights Trip has had on their high school experiences

Gordon’s Civil Rights Trip is the culmination of a social justice curriculum that begins in Gordon’s youngest grades, and it’s an experience that has shaped the lives of hundreds of Gordon graduates since 2002.

Over four days, they visit historic sites in Georgia and Alabama, and meet with people who are making change in the present day. On their return to Rhode Island, students start making positive change in their own communities, partnering with local agencies in a full time, four-week service learning project.

The itinerary has been different every year. It has always included the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, an extended tour of Selma, and a visit to at least one historically Black college or university.

Since 2016, Gordon has met with representatives of Bryan Stevenson's Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, and toured the National Memorial for Peace and Justice every year since it opened in 2018.

The 2024 trip

The twenty-third Civil Rights Trip began 4:15am on Monday, April 15th. Students travelled to Atlanta, Montgomery and Selma over the next four days.

Stops this year included a meeting with voting rights advocates from the New Georgia Project, who generously sharing their time as they work to support access to voting in advance of the 2024 election. 
 
New this year was a dinner with artist and activist Michelle Browder, with conversation about her work elevating untold stories of Montgomery history. Browder was profiled in People Magazine in 2022 and the Washington Post in 2021.

Updates from the trip were posted to Gordon's Facebook and Instagram over the course of each day, and a daily wrapup posted to Gordon's blog each night (and linked from this page).

2024 notes from the blog

2024: day one

Notes on day one

Including:
• Morehouse College
• Mothers of Gynecology Park
• An evening in Michelle Browder's yard

2024: day two

Notes on day two

Including:
• Southern Poverty Law Center
• Selma with Joanne Bland

2024: day three

Notes on day three

Including:
• Breakfast with Lynda Lowery
• Freedom Monument Sculpture Park
• Legacy Museum
• Dexter Avenue King Memorial
• National Memorial for Peace and Justice

2024: day four

Notes on day four

Including:
• A morning meeting with the New Georgia Project

2023 notes from the blog

2023: day one

Notes on day one
Including:
• Morehouse College
• A tour of Montgomery's hidden history
• The Anarcha Lucy Betsey Monument

2023: day two

Notes on day two
Including:
• Southern Poverty Law Center
• Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church
• Dexter Parsonage
• The First Baptist Church's Caring Center

2023: day three

Notes on day three
Including:
• The Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum
• The National Memorial for Peace and Justice
• Selma with Ms. Lynda Lowery

2023: day four

Notes on day four
Including:
• The New Georgia Project
• A surprise at the CNN Center

Stories from Gordon’s Civil Rights Trip