Remembering the Children Freedom Ride
More than fifty University of Wisconsin - La Crosse students, La Crosse-area high school students and community leaders are making their way to Birmingham in what they are calling the “Historic Remembering the Children Freedom Ride.” The group will be in Birmingham this Saturday, March 16th and Sunday, March 17th to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Children’s March as well as celebrate Birmingham Civil Rights Movement History at ACMHR churches in the Historic Titusville Community.”
According to Dr. Bob Krajewski, Education Professor and Scholar in Residents at Wisconsin – La Crosse who is leading the group, “For La Crosse, a predominantly ‘white’ community, it is important for our students and community members to learn about the sacrifices Birmingham residents made in their fight for equality, and especially those children who bravely marched in 1963. The purpose of our Freedom Rides is to gain knowledge of the Birmingham civil rights movement and share with the residents of Lacrosse to promote inclusion in our own city”. Rev. Anthony Johnson, a Birmingham cleric and community leader, is working with the group to facilitate their stay in Birmingham.
This is the fifth “Freedom Ride” Dr. Krajewski has led to the Magic City. The first was in 1998, followed by others in 2000, 2001, and 2008. On each of the trips the group visited the Civil Rights Institute, 16th Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, the Jazz Hall of Fame, Birmingham area schools and performed audience-interactive social justice skits at selected ACMHR (Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights) Churches, and Birmingham area schools. The skits are designed and performed by a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student organization titled “Leadership in Action,” which has performed for more than 60,000 people in 17 states and three countries during the past 15 years.
Says Krajewski, “The 2008 trip was especially memorable since we were able to recreate and participate in a ‘march’ with Birmingham clergy, civic leaders and elected officials and 400 marchers. We also took part in a tribute to Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth at the Civil Rights Institute. Both events were organized by Reverend Anthony Johnson, the grandson of Reverend Dr. N.H Smith Jr. Dr. Smith was one of the first pastors recruited by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Shuttlesworth to hold Monday Mass meetings in Birmingham.”
When: Sun, Mar 17, 8:00 am – 8:00 am. Through March 17, 2013.
Where: Titusville Community