Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Civil Rights Pilgrimage 2k13: Overall Experience

Since I don't want to spoil the trip for any future Civil Rights pilgrims I'll just give a brief overview of the trip. It was great! So inspiring, motivating and most of all enlightening. Although civil rights will always be an important part of American history, it seems that as time moves forward, more and more we forget just how significant those acts and people were. Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks, MLK Jr., the Little Rock Nine  all played huge roles in bringing about justice but all the people we were able to meet on the trip also contributed greatly to the society we now live in: Bernard Lafayette, Ms. Shirley Cherry, and all of our passionate tour guides. The trip was definitely A LOT of information to take in in a week so its essential to have an open and ready mind. Learning about these movements from a class or from merely reading a book is incomparable to actually visiting the sites and putting yourself in the exact spot where legendary acts took place. No matter how close we think we're getting to a society of equality and peace, its so important for us to go back and see where we came from. Its so important for us to not be complacent with how things are; to study people like MLK and Rosa Parks who did their part in changing the world we live in for the better. The trip was a great experience. I'm so happy that I went!

BTW: My name is Lindsay, I'm a Junior, studying advertising. So this trip wasn't related to my major or anything, I didn't even live in housing this past year. This trip is for any and everybody who is smart enough to take advantage of such a great opportunity!

Civil Rights 2k13: Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.

Although I'm very late posting this, I wanted to take the time out to reflect on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage spring break trip. From the trip, I have gained a new perspective that has become very useful in many of my courses in discussing things like race and gender inequalities.

The Civil Rights Pilgrimage consisted of about forty students traveling by bus to and through six southern cites over the course of nine days learning about historical figures and events that help shape the society we live in today. Our first stop was in Atlanta, GA where we were able to meet Bernard Lafayette Jr. What an amazing start to the pilgrimage. I can't describe how inspiration his story is! I don't want to say too much because anyone reading this will hopefully get to experience everything that I did but in short,  as a young teen he worked directly with MLK during the civil rights movement and continued to be a prominent leader after MLK Jr. tragic assassination. Here are my favorite things learned from Mr. Lafayette about how to address current issues and how to grow as leaders:

Focus on mistakes
What did we do that perhaps we should have done?
Examine very closely what has happened already

Analyze with a goal in mind

A lot of research is about what happened and not what could have happened

**If possible, try to manage your time.

Plan to use your time wisely.

Set goals high: don't just try to get by. You never know when they too score will help.

You can study and learn all you need without degrees  but degrees will get you there faster. It's necessary.

Do what you do SO well! Tear it up.

You must feel worthwhile. Never feel that you aren't worthwhile. Your worth. Not your wealth. You value to life.

Discover as soon as possible what you can develop that can make your life worthwhile. Something that you can give. Because if you can do that then death is a myth.

"They they took MLK's life. He had already given his life. It was already too late. They missed. "

Your life: DO IT. GIVE IT.

Avoid negative inspiration

Stay in control of yourself.
Dont let someone rub you the wrong way. Try to understand why someone doesn't like you.

Violence is the language of the inarticulate.

Oppression is a system. With three parts.
1. Someone willing to be an oppressor
- Willing oppressors think they are doing the right thing. They believe that others are not human beings. Beings but not human.
2. People that accept the fact that its nothing they can do. "Stay in your place".
3. A majority of people who support actively or SILENTLY the oppression.

It's not what people say or do to you, it's how you respond. Character.

Can you learn to love others to where they are transformed?

"You can do this. If you make up your mind."

I didn't plan to dedicate this entire post to just things from the Dr. Lafayette talk but he was just that GOOD! These are quotes from the man himself! Enjoy!