September 26, 2017

"King's Road:" 2018 USU Civil Rights Pilgrimage

Civil Rights Marchers led by Dr. KingCivil Rights Marchers led by Dr. King

“King’s Road”
2018 USU Civil Rights Pilgrimage Scholarship
Sponsored by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,
the USU Diversity Council, LPCS, and SSWA

The U.S. Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s stands as one of the most compelling
eras in both U.S. and global history. On the one hand, it serves as a relatively recent reminder of how seemingly simple issues of human difference can sometimes provoke not so simple reactions of hate, bigotry, and physical violence. On the other hand, it stands as an inspiration to multitudes of others around the country and throughout the world in their own struggles for equality.

This year’s USU Civil Rights Pilgrimage, titled “King’s Road,” will provide four USU
students with the opportunity to travel with USU professors Jason Gilmore and François Dengah on a seven-day trip through the American South. We will visit iconic and historic locations of the Civil Rights Movement with a specific focus on the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King. This trip will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. Students will visit locations of some of the most important locations of the Civil Rights Movement, talk with foot soldiers who fought for equality, and attend MLK memorial events in Memphis, TN on April 4, 2018. Stops on the pilgrimage include: Atlanta, GA; Montgomery, AL; Birmingham, AL; Tuscaloosa, AL; Memphis, TN; and Selma, AL.

     Van: Seats 8 (6 total people)
     Hotels: Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express
     Breakfasts: at hotels
     Lunches: TBD we will eat most/all of our meals together
     Dinners: TBD
     Typical schedule
          Commences at 7 am, ends at 10 pm
         Touring via van, museums, and extensive walking + talking
          Van rides of a couple hours at a time, some longer trips

     • Leaders
          o Jason Gilmore, Assistant Professor of Global Communication
          o François Dengah, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
     • Students
          o Four competitively selected undergraduate students from USU

     Saturday, March 31
           • Fly SLC to Atlanta
           • Settle in
           • Dinner together
           • Hotel in Atlanta
     Sunday, April 1
           • All day in Atlanta
           • Visit Museum of Civil and Human Rights, King Center, MLK’s church
           • Lunch in Atlanta
           • Drive to Montgomery (2.5h drive time)
           • Dinner in Montgomery
           • Hotel in Montgomery
     Monday, April 2
           • All day Montgomery
           • Visit Alabama State Capital, Freedom Riders Museum (Greyhound bus depot), Rosa Parks monuments and museum, Southern Poverty Law Center, former slave marketplace,
           • Lunch and Dinner in Montgomery
           • Hotel in Montgomery
     Tuesday, April 3
           • Drive to Birmingham (1h drive time)
           • Visit Kelly Ingram Park (site of children’s march), visit Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, First Baptist Church
           • Lunch in Birmingham
           • Drive to Memphis (3.5h drive time)
           • Dinner in Memphis
           • Hotel Memphis
     Wednesday, April 4
           • All day in Memphis
           • Event details TBD – Note: The Loraine Motel and Civil Rights Museum will be hosting a full day of events.
           • Possible visit to Stax Museum of Soul
           • Lunch and Dinner in Memphis.
           • Hotel Memphis
     Thursday, April 5
           • Breakfast in Memphis
           • Drive to Tuscaloosa (4h drive time)
           • Lunch and dinner in Tuscaloosa
           • Visit University of Alabama, learn about Autherine Lucy, meet with students
           • Hotel in Tuscaloosa
     Friday, April 6
           • Drive to Selma (1.5h drive time)
           • Morning (or all day) Selma
           • Tour of Selma with Joanne Bland, child marcher on Bloody Sunday
           • Drive to Auburn, AL (2h)
           • Hotel in Auburn
     Saturday, April 7
           • Drive to Atlanta (2h drive time)
           • Fly to SLC

Collection 1: 1940s to mid 1950s, oppression and awakenings
     • Chapters 1-4 of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by John Dittmer, a former prof at Tougaloo College, a civil rights incubator in Jackson, MS. Award-winning
        examination of everyday Americans and the battles they fought for civil rights in Mississippi.
        Available for purchase at
     • “The Murder of Emmett Till” documentary, American Experience PBS. Can be viewed without charge at
     • Southern Manifesto in the U.S. Congress, introduced 1956. Can be found at
     • The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It by Jo Ann Gibson Robinson. An award-winning memoir by an activist/professor who was key to the bus boycott about
        the incredible people who nurtured it, implemented it, and sustained it—even when leaders waffled.
        Available for purchase at
Collection 2: late 1950s, early 1960s, the struggle is joined
     • Eyes on the Prize Part 2 documentary, “Fighting Back: Little Rock and Ole Miss.” Can be viewed without charge at
     • The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, by Bob Zellner. A memoir that you can’t put down (after chapter 1) by a white son of a KKK member
        who became a civil rights hero. Zellner will join us for a day and a half on the pilgrimage.
        Available for purchase at
     • “George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire, Part I” documentary, American Experience PBS.
         Chronicles Wallace’s rise from a liberal populist to the segregationist Alabama governor who becomes the symbol of white supremacist South. Can be viewed without charge at
Collection 3: early 1960s, going on the offense
     • “A Force More Powerful” documentary, section on Nashville. An introduction to the nonviolence teachings that took root in Nashville, and spread from there throughout the civil
        rights movement. Can be viewed without charge at
     • “Freedom Riders” documentary, American Experience PBS. Tells the amazing story of the people who initiated and sustained the Freedom Rides in 1961, their experiences with the
        Kennedy administration, Parchman Prison, and their victories. Can be viewed without charge at
     • Chapters 5-9 of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi
Collection 4: The showdown in Birmingham, 1963
     • White clergy note, “Statement by Alabama Clergymen,” issued April 12, 1963. Can be found at
     • Why We Can’t Wait, by Martin Luther King (published 1964). This first-person volume describes the civil rights situation in 1963, why the movement targeted Birmingham, and the
       strategies involved. Available for purchase at or a million other sites.
     • “Mighty Times: The Children’s March” documentary (2004). An Academy Award-winning short film about the essential role of young people in the 1963 Birmingham campaign.    
        Available for rental at some video stores or for purchase at
     • “The Speech that Shocked Birmingham the Day After the Church Bombing.” A searing window into the racism and an act of courage in Birmingham. Can be found at
Collection 5: Freedom Summer and Freedom Bridge, 1964 and 1965
     • Chapters 10-15 of Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. You want to see courage? Read these chapters.
     • “Neshoba” documentary. Tells the amazing story of the inter-racial coalition that came togetherin Philadelphia MS, 40 years after the murder of three civil rights workers. We’ll meet  
        and do a tour with the leader of the coalition, Leroy Clemons. Available for rental at some video stores or for purchase at or at
     • Eyes on the Prize Part 6 documentary, “Selma: Bridge to Freedom.” Can be viewed without charge at

Minimum Requirements
1. Must be at least 18 years of age.
2. Undergraduate student currently enrolled at Utah State University, with continued enrollment throughout the 2017-2018 school year.

Expectations of Students
1. Be free to travel to the Deep South for 7 days from March 31 to April 7, 2018
2. Take 3 credits of Independent Study with Dr. Jason Gilmore (Upper Level Communication Studies Credits) or François Dengah (Upper Level Anthropology credits)
3. Attend twice-monthly meetings with Drs. Gilmore and Dengah during the Spring Semester
4. Do ALL assigned readings and viewings before trip
5. Be dedicated to developing and implementing a promotional campaign to bring attention to our experiences before, during, and after the trip.
6. Be ready and willing to share your stories and experiences throughout the semester with a wide variety of audiences (family, friends, media, professors, academic conferences).
7. Come back from the trip and develop a plan of action of how the trip has impacted your personal future dedication to social justice in the world.
8. Pay for your flight to Atlanta (we will arrange this together). Estimated cost of $400.00-$600.00 per student.
9. **This experience is going to take a high level of personal dedication and time for the entirety of the Spring semester. Please apply ONLY if you can, without a doubt or exception,
    meet these expectations and dedicate the time and attention necessary.

What’s Provided for Students
1. Ground transportation throughout the South
2. Hotels (Students stay 2 to a room)
3. Meals (Three a day + snacks in the van)
4. Tours, museum entrances, guest speakers, and other such expenses

How to Express Interest
1. If you are interested and able to commit to all aspects of the experience, please submit a CV or Resume and a letter of interest to JASON.GILMORE@USU.EDU and
    FRANCOIS.DENGAH@USU.EDU by 5pm on October 6th with the following information:
          a. Your name
          b. Your current major
          c. Your academic standing (freshman, etc.)
          d. One to two paragraphs explaining your interest in the Civil Rights Pilgrimage experience and your dedication to social justice and intercultural understanding.
          e. One to two paragraphs explaining how you envision this experience fitting into your current and future life and/or professional plans.
          f. One brief paragraph explaining your ability to participate in ALL requirements (listed above) of this experience.


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