USC students use Spring Break to visit civil rights sites and give back
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO)- Spring break is underway at the University of South Carolina (USC) and one group is touring a painful chapter of our nation’s past in hopes of creating a brighter future for tomorrow.
Around 20 USC students and three faculty members are touring civil rights landmarks around the south to continue the work leaders began decades ago.
“A lot of our students might have taken an African-American studies class or history class and they might have heard some things growing up but just being in the presence of some of the places we are going,” said Shay Malone director of the university’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. “We are going to Selma to walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge where Bloody Sunday happened, so there are some things there they can make connections to,” said Malone.
The group is going to Knoxville before heading to Selma then Birmingham and ending in Atlanta, commemorating some of the defining moments of Dr. Martin Luther King’s activism. Students say they hope to apply lessons from the trip to life at Carolina.
“With some things that have happened on campus, some people think we can just brush over it but I want to be able to tell people this is what went on and it is still going on. There is something we can do to change it, we just need to figure out what that is,” said Brianna Lewis, freshman at USC.
“I hope to really get a humbling experience, really getting to know the struggle the slaves went through, really knowing the struggle African Americans had to go through to fight for civil rights so I hope to really get a feel and express that with my classmates and peers,” said junior Mikayla Nelson.
Students will be back on campus after the trip ends on Friday.