-- Led by Rabbi Moshe Shur, the Students Will Visit Atlanta, Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham --
QUEENS, NY, January 16, 2020—When Queens College history professor Rabbi Moshe Shur was in college, he joined other student volunteers in a 1965 and 1966 summer initiative to register disenfranchised voters in six southern states. As president of the student participants in this national project begun by Rev. Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Shur met Dr. King who, he says “became a mentor for our lives.”
From Sunday, January 19. through Thursday, January 23, Shur will lead a group of 20 ethnically and religiously diverse Queens College students on a journey to visit major sites of the civil rights movement as part of the college’s In the Footsteps of Dr. King experiential trip. The program, which takes place annually during the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, features locations that highlight Dr. King’s quest for racial equality and justice, including the Center for Human and Civil Rights, Tuskegee Airmen and University Historical Sights, the Selma Interpretive Center, National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and Kelly Ingram Park. The students will also visit Dr. King’s birth home.
“This trip has a special significance for the Queens College community, with its long association to the civil rights movement,” said Queens College Interim President William Tramontano. “It is reflected in our renowned civil rights archive, and the legacy of our alumnus Andrew Goodman, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan in 1964 while on a student trip to register voters in Mississippi. Goodman was recognized posthumously in 2014 with the White House Medal of Freedom along with fellow victims James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. The college’s Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library clock tower is named in honor of the three young men.”
The students will participate in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service and a Southern Christian Leadership Conference March. In addition, they will retrace King’s walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, where armed police officers attacked peaceful protesters in 1965. Students will also meet with people who have a personal connection to the civil rights struggle, including Barbara Emerson Williams, whose family foundation established Hosea Feed the Hungry in Atlanta, and Major Cecil Davis, who will make a presentation on the Tuskegee Airmen. Williams is the daughter of Rev. Hosea Williams, Dr. King's assistant.
Throughout the trip, students will be using video, photography and writing to record their experiences, which they will share in a campus-wide presentation this spring semester.
In the Footstep of Dr. King is sponsored by the Queens College Student Association, Office of the President, Division of Student Affairs, Experiential Education, the Office of Student Development and Leadership, the Taub Family Foundation, and New York City Council Member Rory Lancman.
This project is dedicated to the memory and vision of David S. Taub.
About Queens College
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