Sojourn to the Past: an experience a textbook doesn’t offer


Karen Ramroth

Students gather to take a group photo during their trip.

Sadie Lyman, Staff Writer

On the annual Sojourn to the Past trip, students journey back to the time of the civil rights movement.

The trip offers an opportunity for students to learn about the past, meet civil rights activists, and visit the American South. The trip focuses on educating students about the civil rights movement, as well as raise awareness about U.S. history.

This year, there will be 27 Carlmont students going on the trip from Feb. 16 to Feb. 22, along with history teacher Karen Ramroth and English teacher Cindy Shusterman. This is a record number of Carlmont students participating in the Sojourn program.

To fundraise for the program cost of $3000, students sold See’s candies, held a fundraiser at Panda Express, and raised funds through a “Selma” movie showing.

With this program, students can go beyond the textbook and visit landmarks, meet civil rights activists, and earn college credits on the seven-day course.

“Sojourn to the Past is a trip that students go on to the Deep South. There is a mix of classes that the students take, and in addition to that, they hear from speakers, civil rights activists, and even meet people who were a part of the Little Rock Nine, like Minnijean Brown-Trickey and Elizabeth Eckford,” Carlmont English teacher Cindy Shusterman said.

To many students, this trip offers more than just knowledge about the movement. They are able to learn about how their ancestors fought for the rights they have today.

“Sojourn taught me more about my self-identity than any history class did. It also taught me about different social justice skills that I use today,” Angelica Burleson, a senior, said.

Sojourn to the Past is meant to educate students about the history of their country by exposing them to the places and people they learn about.

“I love to see and interact with students outside of the classroom and outside of a school. The students really like it as well because it’s learning, but it’s in such a different and non-traditional style. I wish everyone could experience it,” Shusterman said.

As the students learn about the civil rights movement, they also learn more about themselves in the process.

“I want to learn the stories that I will never be told in the textbooks. I thank these people who fought the hard battle for us,” Alejandro Hernandez Lopez, a senior, said.