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Equipping Leaders to Better Prepare Children & Youth for College, Careers, & Citizenship

Civil Rights
Learning Journey

The Civil Rights Learning Journey is a professional development experience. Journey from Jackson, Mississippi to Birmingham, Alabama, with Civil Rights movement leader, Roscoe Jones Sr., reconciling the places and narratives of the past with lessons applicable to your work in the present.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge. banner image

Civil Rights Learning Journey

Civil Rights Learning Journey

We invite you to join IEL’s Education Policy Fellowship Program, in partnership with The Freedom '64 Project, on the Civil Rights Learning Journey and retrace the Civil Rights Movement in the American South. On this personal and professional development experience, you will reflect and engage in a meaningful dialogue about how to make a positive social change in your communities and organizations.

Civil Rights Learning Journey, Professional Development Bus Tour Experience


  • "The civil rights bus tour has impacted me both professionally and personally. We have an obligation to continue to tell the stories as their modern day significance is immense." - Jen Beutel, January 2018
  • "This experience has been haunting and has challenged me to be my own movement and speak out for injustices for everyone regardless of race." – Micca Knox, Mississippi Community College Board, January 2018
  • "Seeing the places and hearing (sometimes directly) from Civil Rights giants also made it clear that the centuries of struggle were fought by ordinary people. It gave me the courage, as an ordinary person, to continue their work with the present challenges before us." – Lucretia Murphy, Jobs for the Future, January 2018
  • "A must-do, transformational experience every educator at every level should experience." - Brad Skelton, January 2018

The Civil Rights Learning Journey is a bus tour running from Jackson, Mississippi to Birmingham, Alabama, led by a Civil Rights leader, Roscoe Jones Sr. The experience focuses on both places and stories that delve deep into the movement, lifting up the narratives that shaped the past and inform the present. Recent participants have applied the lessons learned to their research approaches, organizational strategic plans, and curriculum designs. The January 2018 journey was attended by school teachers, principals, superintendents, board members, college and university faculty and staff, community agencies, non-profit and philanthropic leaders, and consultants.

30 men and women stand on steps outside of the 16th Street Baptist Church

2018 Civil Rights Learning Journey Sample Program Description

Participant Reflections

"The experience was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I have never been on a tour of the Civil Rights Era with people who did not look like me. It was engaging, thought provoking, and restored my faith in humanity." - Tennyson Stennis, January 2018

More About the Experience


Group standing around commemorative fountain.

Civil Rights Learning Journey Team