Blast from Sojourn to the Past

Sojourn+students+stand+in+front+of+the+Brown+Chapel+A.M.E.+Church+on+their+last+day.

Karen Ramroth

Sojourn students stand in front of the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church on their last day.

Chesirae Barbano, Staff Writer

Sojourn to the Past transported the civil rights movement to the present with a trip the south.

The adventure gave 87 students from Carlmont and other high schools from California and Boston, MA the opportunity to connect with different people and experience the 1960’s — the height of the civil rights movement.

According to Sojourn’s website, the mentors involved strive to teach humanity, diversity, respect, compassion, empowerment, civic responsibility, courage, integrity, and accountability through nonviolence in an inclusive environment.

Fremont senior Dennys Singson Tamez said, “The trip made me reflect on myself and my part in my community.”

Between Feb. 12 and Feb. 18, students traveled to Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi to learn extensively about the civil rights movement.

The intensive lessons continue in front of the topic itself: Central High school. Here, nine teenagers of color were barred from entering, despite the Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that deemed segregation of public schools a violation of the 14th amendment.
Karen Ramroth
The intensive lessons continue in front of the topic itself: Central High School. Here, nine teenagers of color were barred from entering, despite the Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that deemed segregation of public schools a violation of the 14th Amendment.

When students weren’t soaking up information at a National Civil Rights Museum or contemplating their place in the world, they were learning from figures who lived during the civil rights movement.

Sequoia senior Jason Escobado said, “They [speakers] all had different stories to tell and it just made me wonder how far we have really come from this terrible time, and what we can do to prevent it from happening again.”

While none of the speakers or their stories are told in history books, Sojourn to the Past keeps the moments of the Little Rock Nine, the Dahmer Family, Medgar Evers, Reena Evers, Jerry Mitchell, Simeon Wright, Emmett Till, Clark Olsen, and Joanne Bland alive.

Junior Hannah Kurt stands before the Dahmer family who lost a husband and a father to the civil rights struggle.
Karen Ramroth
Carlmont junior Hannah Kurt stands before the Dahmer family who lost a husband and a father to the civil rights struggle.

Despite the cost of $2,800, Carlmont junior Joshua Harris said, “Although, granted, it is quite pricey, Sojourn is absolutely worth every penny. That said, any fundraising or scholarship appeals help tremendously with the total cost of the trip.”

Whether it was writing letters to peers or applying for scholarships, many opportunities are offered to lower the final cost.

The lessons that the Sojourn trip and the mentors gave to students didn’t finish when students went home. Instead, students are tasked to create an action plan for their high school. This plan can range from small presentations to engaging the whole student body. There are other requirements for the students who applied for the college credit Sojourn offers.

With the teachings of nonviolence present, Escobado said, “In order to create real change we can’t fight hate with hate.”

For more information, check out Sojourn Project as well as its Facebook and Twitter.

Carlmont’s Sojourn meetings are every Monday in E5.

Carlmont's contribution to the 87 students who went on Sojourn to the Past.
Karen Ramroth
Carlmont’s contribution to the 87 students who went on Sojourn to the Past.

 

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