Experience the Civil Rights Movement


Lila Schulman

Senior Gaby Prado gets ready for Sojourn to the Past by reading a book on the Civil Rights Movement .

Lila Schulman, Staff Writer

Sojourn to the Past is “a seven day trip through Georgia and Alabama to see the sights of the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s,” said Carlmont’s Sojourn to the Past adviser and history teacher Karen Ramroth.

Ramroth experienced this program in her junior year in high school.

Students in this program immerse themselves in the Civil Rights Era by going to famous cities where the Civil Rights Movement took place, such as Selma, Atlanta, Montgomery and Birmingham. Students are not only able to visit historic sites of American history, but also get to meet the people who helped make that history.

Senior Emily Fajardo said, “Sojourn is a unique way to learn about Civil Rights, not just to learn it, but to experience it. We meet influential people like John Lewis and Minnijean Brown.”

Sojourn to the Past is a once in a lifetime experience that is beneficial to the students in a variety of ways.

Not only does it give a clearer understanding of the importance of the Civil Rights Movement, but also helps students become educated in life skills they might need for the future.

“It’s [about] personal empowerment; it teaches people how to speak in front of large crowds, stand up and share their opinion, and help people find their inner strength,” said Ramroth.

Sojourn to the Past allows students to go beyond the surface of the Civil Rights Movement in a more profound way than they might learn in school. Students get to discover how our lives have been changed because of this movement.

“You’re learning history you wouldn’t know otherwise. In history you’re just reading out of a book, but [Sojourn to the Past] makes it come alive; you’re at the place and you meet the people,” said Ramroth.

Students start preparing for Sojourn to the Past near the end of August and early September of each new school year by fundraising and studying for their trip.

Senior Tara Ebrahimpour, who previously went on Sojourn, said, “It’s really inspiring to see people who have accomplished so much by fighting for what was right and what they believed in. If they can do that, then I can stand up for my rights and do what I believe in as well.”

Sojourn to the Past is a great experience for students who are not only interested in exploring history, but want to learn useful skills and look at life with a broader or different perspective.

Senior Mireya Maciel said, “[Sojourn to the Past] teaches people to see that today is a lot better than it was yesterday because of the Civil Rights Movement.”