On Monday, March 25, 2013, a group of residents of Montgomery County, Maryland will board a bus in downtown Rockville, headed south for a life-altering shared experience. Sponsored by the county’s Office of Human Rights, the trip will take us to many sites that were significant in the civil rights movement of the last century. We will retrace the Freedom Trail, learn about Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Greensboro Woolworth counter sit-ins, voter’s rights and more.  We will cross the historic Edmund Pettis Bridge, see the Southern Poverty Law Center, visit the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and more. We are lucky that we will do this without facing threats, segregation, bus bombings, water hoses, German shepherds, bulky police in riot gear, angry white racists shouting epithets. What a difference 50 years makes. But there are many more miles to go.

This is the group blog created for the individuals and families on this trip. Only participants and organizers in the 2013 tour may post their reflections, journal entries, photos, questions and more. Others may read and post comments.  In the spirit of transparency and responsible communication, all posts should be accompanied by the name of the author, although you may choose to use only your first name and last initial (but no nicknames) and the community where you are from (Kensington, Potomac, Chevy Chase, etc.). Please do not post photos of individuals on the trip without their explicit permission. And try not to upload the exact same images posted by others. This blog will enable us to share our best photography as well as our impressions and experiences.

All posts and images uploaded may be used by the Office of Human Rights in order to promote the trip to future attendees and sustain support for their efforts. If you have a problem with that, don’t upload something you aren’t willing to see on a flyer or video in the future.

The self-appointed moderator for this blog is Julie Drizin, a resident of Montgomery County since 1994, parent of two children in Montgomery County Public Schools, and director of the Journalism Center on Children and Families at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Her participation in this trip is purely personal, not professional, and her posts are are not sanctioned by or affiliated with the University in any way, the Merrill College or JCCF in any way.

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