Civil Rights Tour Bridges Past With Present

by Brandon Best, Public Relations Writer

As recent events across the nation have led to an increased awareness of race relations, Cedarville University’s department of history and government has organized a civil rights tour that will take students to some of the most important sites of the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Greg Dyson, director of intercultural leadership, and Murray Murdoch, Ph.D., senior professor of history, will serve as the tour guides to sites in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

“We want to expose students to these historic sites and see multiple perspectives on civil rights,” said Dyson. “Our hope is that by meeting people and visiting places, we’ll gain a better understanding of what is affecting our culture and our country.”

The tour, from September 26-30, will stop at the National Center for Civil Rights, Mother Emanuel Church, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church and Edmund Pettus Bridge. 

Students will also hear from pastors and other civil rights leaders during their travels, including the leadership at Mother Emmanuel Church, the site of the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17.

“This tour will provide students the context for understanding many of the crises we experience today,” said Murdoch, who participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. “You can’t understand something until you see it, and there is much misunderstanding in society.”

Students will also study biblical passages relating to race. And, they’ll read David Anderson’s book “Gracism: The Art of Inclusion” during the trip before following up the tour with additional classroom instruction from Patrick Oliver, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice.

“We’re trying to paint a historical picture of the racism and discrimination and follow with the biblical lessons of how Christians should respond,” said Murdoch.

Students will earn one credit hour for participating in the trip.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings.