Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our Important Journey Together

Our spring 2012 adventure began on Friday afternoon as our team loaded 109 people onto two buses in Eau Claire. Our coordinator team of Virgil Ward, Jackie Lee, Paul Williams, Nicholas Severson, Elsa Kraus and Mathias Hughey have been working for a year to prepare for this trip. I am so thankful to them for their hard work and desire to create an opportunity for their peers to explore issues of racism, social justice, and privilege by studying history and discussing our current experience.

Our first stop on the trip, after a long night sleeping on the bus, was at CNN in Atlanta. While there, we participated in an Inside CNN tour where we learned how the news is explored, produced, and reported. Following our tour we discussed the important role that media plays in our society. We also discussed how important it is for each of us to think critically about the news we read and hear.

It was especially interesting to see the journalism students on our trip during the tour. It was clear that the opportunity to see the CNN studios was even more meaningful for these students. Claire read the news flawlessly from the teleprompter during the behind the scenes tour! Well done, Claire!

We ended the day with a wonderful lecture from Charles Person, the youngest of the original Freedom Riders. He asked us to think about what issue we are willing to get on the bus for. And he challenged us all to find the courage to 'get on the bus' to make positive change in our world. Our entire group was moved by his story and inspired to find the courage needed to make social change. It was a wonderful first day of our trip!

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