Civil Rights

Family Seminar

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Learn about the leaders and events of the civil rights movement as we visit churches, museums, exhibits and memorials and hear firsthand accounts from people who lived these experiences

Listen to soul and blues performances where this music originated and tour the entertainment district in Memphis

Feast on Southern-style dishes at cafés and restaurants that civil rights activists once patronized

Travel through the South and explore sites dedicated to challenging racial injustice and pointing a way toward societal healing

Faculty leader

Douglas McAdams

Doug McAdam is the Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor Emeritus at Stanford University and the former director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is the author or co-author of 18 books and some 100 articles in the area of political sociology, with a special emphasis on racial politics in the United States, and the central impact of the civil rights movement on American life and politics since World War II. Among his best-known works are Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930-1970, Freedom Summer (1988, Oxford University Press), which was awarded the 1990 C. Wright Mills Award, and Dynamics of Contention (2001, Cambridge University Press) with Sid Tarrow and Charles Tilly. His most recent book is Deeply Divided: Racial Politics and Social Movements in Postwar America (Oxford University Press, 2014). He was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. In previous lifetimes he was also a stand-up comedian and a college basketball player.


June 19–26, 2022
Day 1

Jackson, Mississippi

Meet in the hotel lobby to walk just over half a mile to the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum which opened in December 2017. This state-funded museum provides a honest and painful account of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi through a series of galleries packed floor to ceiling with photographs, texts and recordings. The museum exhibits begins with the back story to the civil rights period – the European slave trade.  From there the museum timeline moves through the Civil War, Reconstruction and the birth of Jim Crow and then moves to after World War 11 with a harrowing room which focuses on Emmett Till. This evening, meet in the Club Lounge  and meet your fellow travelers and enjoy a welcome reception and dinner using locally sourced ingredients.

Hotel – The Westin Jackson

Meals – dinner

Day 2

Jackson, Mississippi

We begin today at the Medgar Evers Home Museum, the home where Evers lived, on Margaret Walker Alexander Drive in Jackson. Medgar Evers, the field secretary for the NAACP in Mississippi, was assassinated in the driveway of his Jackson home in 1963.  From here drive to Malaco Records, an American independent record label based in Jackson, that has been the home of various major blues and gospel acts, such as Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Z. Z. Hill, Denise LaSalle, Benny Latimore, Dorothy Moore, Little Milton, Shirley Brown, Marvin Sease, and the Mississippi Mass Choir. We will be meeting with co-founder Gerald “Wolf” Stephenson for a tour of the record company. Continue on a short walk to Farish Street which was the thriving center of African-American life in Jackson during the Jim Crow era. Enjoy lunch at Johnny T’s Bistro and Blues before continuing on to the COFO Civil Rights Education Center where we will meet with Dr. Robert Luckett, Director of the Margaret Walker Center and an Associate Professor of the Department of History at Jackson State University. Drive to the former Greyhound Bus station. This prominent site from the 1961 Freedom Rides against segregation has been lovingly renovated by architect Robert Parker Adams whose architectural firm occupies the art deco structure today. Depart the hotel to enjoy dinner at Frank Jones Corner followed by a private Blues performance by a local musician.

Hotel – The Westin Jackson

Meals – dinner

Day 3

Little Rock, Arkansas

Depart Jackson and head north driving through the flatlands of the Mississippi Delta. Arrive at the B.B King Museum to learn about the blues, then drive to Greenwood and the Museum of the Mississippi Delta.  Meet Sylvester and Mary Hoover, owners of the Hoover’s Store in Baptist Town. Mary Hoover has prepared barbeque ribs for the group lunch and, of course, her famous butter-roll, similar to a cobber but without the fruit. Mary is a fabulous cook, owned a popular soul-food restaurant in the historically black Baptist Town neighborhood for nearly 30 years, and was involved in preparing the spreads for the food scenes in the movie, The Help. Lunch will be served in the museum.  After lunch, drive a short distance to Baptist Town which was established in the 1800s in tandem with the growth of the local cotton industry. Sylvester will accompany the group on a 20-minute drive to Money where the first marker on the Mississippi Freedom Trail was placed at the remains of the Bryant’s Grocery, the site associated with the murder of black teenager Emmett Till. Stop in Sumner at the Emmett Till Interpretive Center which exists to tell the story of the Emmett Till tragedy and point a way towards racial healing. After a decade of work from the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, they now invite you to join in on a call to action in your own community, recognizing a need to address racial injustices across America. Enjoy an early dinner at the Sumner Grill then continue on to Little Rock and check into the Burgundy Hotel.

Hotel –  Burgundy Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4

Memphis, Tennessee

Depart the hotel and drive to Little Rock Central High School, a national emblem of the often violent struggle over school desegregation. Tour the school and then meet with Elizabeth Eckford in the school library. Mrs. Eckford was one of nine African-American students who broke the color barrier at Central High School in 1957. Mrs. Eckford is the student portrayed in the iconic photo of a young African-American girl walking to school with her eyes shielded by sunglasses. After visiting the school walk a short distance to the Visitor Center, which opened in September, 2007 coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the 1957 desegregation crisis. From here drive to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center housed in a gleaming modern space overlooking the Arkansas River, designed by award-winning architect James Polshek. Our group will be met by two docents including Ann Kamps for a tour of the Clinton Presidential Center. Ms. Kamps who grew up in Alabama, worked for Bill Clinton for nine years during his time as governor, and did a stint as Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aide. Enjoy lunch at the restaurant at the center then walk to the Anne Frank exhibit right outside the center. The exhibit features a sapling from the tree outside the building where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II. Drive to Memphis and after checking into our hotel, head to dinner this evening at Rendezvous for a BBQ Dinner.

Hotel –  Hu Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5

Memphis, Tennessee

Depart directly from breakfast to the Lorraine Motel, now the home of the National Civil Rights Museum.  The motel was bought in 1945 by Walter and Loree Bailey. Under the Baileys’ ownership it became a modest safe haven for black travelers and visitors who were welcomed, served home-cooked meals, and offered an upscale environment. Martin Luther King, Jr stayed at the motel numerous times and was assassinated here on April 4, 1968. The museum is filled with artifacts, films, oral histories, and interactive media which guide visitors through five centuries of history, from slave resistance to the numerous protests of the American civil-rights movement. Across the street is the Legacy Building (the boarding house from where the assassin's shot was allegedly fired) which examines the investigation of the assassination, the case against James Earl Ray, and ensuing conspiracy theories. Enjoy lunch at the Four Ways then head to the Stax Museum of American Soul, which provides an insight inside the civil rights story set within the Memphis music scene. A mile north is the Slave Haven Underground Railway house where dark cellars, hidden passageways and trap doors were used by runaway slaves attempting to flee north to freedom. Enjoy dinner at your leisure this evening.

Hotel –  Hu Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 6

Montgomery, Alabama

Depart the hotel for Birmingham and meet with. Rev. Carolyn McKinstry at the 16th Baptist Street Church. Carolyn was 14 and inside the 16th Street Baptist Church when a bomb killed four young girls as they prepared to sing in their choir on September 15, 1963. Across the Street is the historic Kelly Ingram Park, site of civil rights rallies, demonstrations and confrontations in the 1960s. Lunch at a local restaurant where we have invited Carolyn McKinsty to join us for lunch. Drive about 2 hours to Selma and stop outside of the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the site of Malcolm X’s address in support of voting rights, Dr. King’s eulogy for Jimmie Lee Jackson, and Jackson’s funeral.

Continue on to the Selma Interpretive Center for a conversation with Foot Solider, Annie Pearl Avery, whose civil rights work spans decades. Walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge where beginning on March 21, 1965 marchers walked for five days to Montgomery camping during the night in the fields of farmers sympathetic to their cause. The group will drive the 54 miles between Selma and Montgomery and follow the marcher’s route that helped to change American history. The Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail commemorates the events, people, and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March in Alabama. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Hotel –  Renaissance Montgomery Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch

Day 7

Montgomery, Alabama

Depart the hotel this morning for a visit to the Dexter Parsonage Museum, the house in which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was living in when it was bombed on January 30, 1956.  It was that day that Dr. King made the personal commitment to non-violence. End the morning at the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the newly opened Equal Justice Initiative’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice. End the afternoon with a briefing by staff members of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Enjoy a farewell dinner and reception at Central Restaurant.

Hotel –  Renaissance Montgomery Hotel

Meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8

Montgomery / Home

Check out of our hotel, and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Meals – breakfast

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

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This program is still in development, and details on trip costs, deposits, payments and cancellations are not yet available. Place a request to receive notification when details are available. At that time, you will have the opportunity to place a deposit, ahead of our general audience.

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