Road to Freedom - Civil Rights Study Tour- Fall 2018

The Opportunity

When our senior high youth came back from their Civil Rights Tour last February and shared their experiences with the congregation, many of you indicated an interest in participating in a similar trip for adults. Karin and Dan share your enthusiasm and are in the initial planning stages for a Road to Freedom Study Tour for the Fall of 2018! The schedule is still to be determined, but we are looking at dates in October or November.


The Context

We continue to experience the powerful legacies of institutional racism, structural inequality, and devastating incidents of racial violence in our midst. This year, as First Church delves more deeply into slavery in the North and our own troubling history of enslavement, the Road to Freedom Study Tour will allow us to see up close both the Southern histories of enslavement and also movements for justice and liberation. The intention is to make connections that will transform our own lives.


The Itinerary

The itinerary is not yet definitely planned, but highlights of the Study Tour might include a visit to the Whitney Plantation on the Mississippi Delta near New Orleans; some time in Memphis, TN, heart of the Delta Blues; visits to Selma and Birmingham; and some focused study in Montgomery with visits to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), their new National Memorial to Peace and Justice Museum, which traces the history of racial terror from enslavement to mass incarceration, and the haunting new EJI monument to lynching.


Planning and Preparation

There will be an initial information session and organizing meeting some time in February (date to be determined). Watch this webpage and your Sunday worship bulletins for more information. If you would like to be sure to receive personal notifications, contact Karin Case, to let her know. Finally, if you are interested in participating in the Road to Freedom Study Tour this fall, we strongly urge you to join the Road to Freedom Study Group with Mike Stevens on Tuesday evenings in Lent. This is not a requirement, but it’s one excellent way to begin preparing for an experience this fall! Please consider joining us.

Call in to your state legislature to support the Safe Communities Act. For information on this issue contact Dave Kidder at

To address institutional racism, please call your state representative and Senator, and ask for abolishment of mandatory minimums in sentencing. Ask them to contact the Joint Committee dealing with this legislation. For more background on this...