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Conference on Civil Rights: A Road Scholar President’s Program

Go beyond the headlines as you take part in a civil rights conference of epic proportions. Learn from civil rights historians and heroes in the city where the movement was born.
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Program No. 23751RJ
8 days
Starts at

Conference on Civil Rights: A Road Scholar President’s Program

Go beyond the headlines as you take part in a civil rights conference of epic proportions. Learn from civil rights historians and heroes in the city where the movement was born.
8 days
Starts at
Program No. 23751 RJ
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At a Glance

The Civil Rights Movement was born in Montgomery – the city where Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders stood up for equality by staying seated and where Martin Luther King Jr. lived and preached. During an epic conference in the heart of the South, learn about the catalytic events that defined this pivotal moment in American history. Listen and learn from historians, foot soldiers, Freedom Fighters and other survivors as you hear historical context and firsthand encounters not found in history books. Go far beyond the media headlines to feel the human heartbeat that powered the movement. Consider how the attitudes of the 1950s and ‘60s echo through the racial climate of today, and be inspired by activists who continue the fight for the “dream” of equality.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Be moved by a keynote from Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and during a solemn visit to the Legacy Museum and Memorial.
  • Hear poignant, firsthand accounts of significant civil rights events from Sheyann Webb, author of “Selma, Lord, Selma” and Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKinstry, survivor of the 16th St Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.
  • Embark on field trips to Tuskegee, Birmingham and Selma to stand where major events in the movement took place.

General Notes

This conference program has a maximum of 250 like-minded participants includes lectures and features acclaimed experts. For field trips, the group will be divided into smaller groups. You may be interested in a smaller version of this program, "Conference on Civil Rights: An In-Depth Look into the Movement (#23082)."
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama's Black Belt
by Hassan Kwame Jeffries
Early in 1966, African Americans in rural Lowndes County, Alabama, aided by activists from the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), established an all-black, independent political party called the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO). The group, whose ballot symbol was a snarling black panther, was formed in part to protest the barriers to black enfranchisement that had for decades kept every single African American of voting age off the county’s registration books. Even after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, most African Americans in this overwhelmingly black county remained too scared even to try to register. Their fear stemmed from the county’s long, bloody history of whites retaliating against blacks who strove to exert the freedom granted to them after the Civil War.
Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary
by Elizabeth Partridge
An inspiring examination of the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this book focuses on the children who faced terrifying violence in order to walk alongside him in their fight for freedom.
Freedom's Daughters: The Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement
by Lynne Olsen
A collection of profiles of some of the fearless, resourceful female leaders of the Civil Rights Movement documents the accomplishments of Ida Wells, who led the protest against lynching; Pauli Murray, who organized the first lunch counter sit-in; Jo Ann Robinson, who helped launch the Montgomery bus boycott; and others
While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement
by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George
On September 15, 1963, a Klan-planted bomb went off in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Fourteen-year-old Carolyn Maull was just a few feet away when the bomb exploded, killing four of her friends in the girl’s restroom she had just exited. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history . . . and the turning point in a young girl’s life. While the World Watched is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of life in the Jim Crow South: from the bombings, riots, and assassinations to the historic marches and triumphs that characterized the Civil Rights movement. A uniquely moving exploration of how racial relations have evolved over the past 5 decades, While the World Watched is an incredible testament to how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.
A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law
by Bryan Stevenson, Loretta Lynch, and Sherrilyn Ifill
This blisteringly candid discussion of the American dilemma in the age of Trump brings together the head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the former attorney general of the United States, a bestselling author and death penalty lawyer, and a star professor for an honest conversation the country desperately needs to hear. Drawing on their collective decades of work on civil rights issues as well as personal histories of rising from poverty and oppression, these leading lights of the legal profession and the fight for racial justice talk about the importance of reclaiming the racial narrative and keeping our eyes on the horizon as we work for justice in an unjust time.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil Rights Days
by Sheyann Webb-Christburg, Rachel West Nelson Milhouse, Frank Sikora
Sheyann Webb was eight years old and Rachel West was nine when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. arrived in Selma, Alabama, on January 2, 1965. He came to organize non-violent demonstrations against discriminatory voting laws. Selma, Lord, Selma is their firsthand account of the events from that turbulent winter of 1965--events that changed not only the lives of these two little girls but the lives of all Alabamians and all Americans. From 1975 to 1979, award-winning journalist Frank Sikora conducted interviews with Webb and West, weaving their recollections into this luminous story of fear and courage, struggle and redemption that readers will discover is Selma, Lord, Selma.

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