01/16/2009

SPLC's Civil Rights Memorial Center Included in Julian Bond-led Civil Rights Tour

Participants in a University of Virginia-sponsored tour of civil rights sites in Georgia and Alabama will spend an afternoon at the Civil Rights Memorial Center (CRMC). As part of their experience there, they will hear from SPLC President Richard Cohen about the SPLC's history and current work. Cohen is a University of Virginia alumnus.

Leading the tour is Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP and a member of the SPLC's board of directors. Bond has had a close relationship with the SPLC since its founding in 1971.

The program, "Civil Rights South: In the Footsteps of the Movement," begins on Feb. 28 and ends on March 6.

The Civil Rights Memorial, situated adjacent to the SPLC's office in Montgomery, Ala., honors those who died during the civil rights movement and serves as a vehicle for education and reflection about the struggles for equality. The CRMC enhances the experience of the Memorial by providing visitors with more in-depth information about the civil rights martyrs and events it honors. State-of-the-art exhibits and an original short film encourage thoughtful reflection on the power of individual activism.

The trip couldn't come at a more meaningful time. On Jan. 20, Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the nation's first African-American president. 2009 also marks the 100th anniversary of the NAACP.

The bus journey begins and ends in Atlanta and follows the movement along a chronological path, from Tuskegee, Alabama, where the voting rights movement began in the early 1950s; to Montgomery, where seamstress Rosa Parks sparked the historic bus boycott; to Selma, where the movement gained steam; to Birmingham, site of the historic 1963 Children's March and now home to a civil rights museum.

For further information, visit the University of Virginia's website.