Friday, January 15, 2010

More Amazing Opportunities

Today we visited Little Rock Central High School Historical Site and had the opportunity to meet with one of the "Little Rock Nine"- Thelma Mothershed-Wair. We were all impressed with her story. She was so gracious and spent time answering all of our questions and endured our endless request for pictures and autographs. It was an inspirational experience.

The Visitors Center is also very moving. We were able to hear accounts from all of the nine. We also saw the dramatic pictures and video of the terrible experiences of the nine during 1957-58.

We also met with Ms. Spirit Trickey, daughter of Minnijean Brown. It was amazing to hear the story of the integration of Central High School from Minnijean's daughter. We've had a chance to meet with Minnijean in the past and all loved her so it was especially nice to meet her beautiful daughter. We were also treated to a conversation with another park ranger- Crystal. She shared her story of attending Central High and also
growing up with a father who was active in the movement. She's been volunteering at the Visitors Center since she was 14. Now she's a college student just like our students and had a inspirational story of her personal efforts to make change in our world.

This is the day on the trip that is always the hardest for me. Access to education is something that has motivated me for some time. I am even more motivated after our time in Little Rock today to make sure that all kids in the Eau Claire community that want to go to college have the opportunity. I'm hopeful that the students on the trip are also thinking about how

they can use what we've learned on this trip to make change when we get back home. They are such an amazing group that I have no doubt they will accomplish much in their lives.

We ended out day in Little Rock by stopping to see the monument to the Little Rock Nine. The beautiful statues are a testament to where we've been and a reminder that there is still much work to be done. Spirit asked us the tough question, "What do we need to do to make it better? Whose job is it?" I think it is all of our job and I am hopeful that there are 49 more "warriors" as a result of this trip.

I'm especially grateful to Sarah Gonzalez for all of her work to make today possible. This is Sarah's last trip and I am so proud of all she has accomplished in her time on this amazing project!

1 comment:

  1. I am in awe of just how wonderful this your trip has become and how much meaning the UWEC students are finding in going to these places and thinking about the sacrifices that were made in the hope of giving all kids a chance to follow their dreams. I could not be more impressed with the thoughtfulness of the UWEC students who are on this trip and the quality of the experience that you were able to give them. How wonderful!!!