Sojourn back to Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

To unknowing passersby, it looks like any other field trip.

Students climb off Alabama Limo buses weighed down with rollaway luggage, duffle bags and garbage bags thrown over their shoulders, coordinators calling out for everyone to keep moving in front of the St. James Hotel.

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But the Sojourn to the Past is not the average field trip.

The sojourn covers key cities in the Civil Rights Movement &8212; Atlanta, Selma, Birmingham, Little Rock, Memphis, Hattiesburg, Miss., and Jackson, Miss., to visit the home of Medgar Evers.

Students, parents and educators dive deep into history in real time when they visit the sites, talk to foot soldiers, and see lessons brought to life.

Mikaela Calli, 18, a senior from southern San Francisco, is on the Sojourn for the second time. Last year was her first experience in the South.

She said last year when she completed the sojourn on crutches, she found the story of Jim Leather a personal inspiration. Leather was a civil rights foot soldier that completed the Selma to Montgomery march on crutches.

Calli is on the trip as a student teacher this year, and she has a different perspective.

The group will visit the National Voting Rights Museum, the Brown Chapel A.M.E Church and will walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during their stay in Selma.