Written by Amanda Davis, Family Editor
BIRMINGHAM, AL – The Mosaic Council embarked on an all-day trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in honor of Black History Month on Saturday, February 6th. The Council’s main goal for the trip was to educate students on the history of the Civil Rights Movement and to encourage discussion involving diversity and equality. The Council departed at 9 am from Bryan and returned at approximately 7 pm.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute was founded in 1992 and features exhibits on the history of the Civil Rights movement and its impact on Birmingham. These exhibits replicates what life looked like for people of color in Birmingham and a detailed timeline of Civil Rights events. The Institute is across the street from 16th Street Baptist Church, which experienced a bombing that killed four African American girls.
Bruce Morgan, Head of the Mosaic Council and Dean of Student Support & Care, wanted to educate students on often forgotten history. “There’s a great lack of understanding of what went on in the Civil Rights Movement. I think people remember Martin Luther King Junior and maybe Rosa Parks,” Morgan said, “but don’t know much about why it was happening and who were the people involved, and that’s great for us to go through the institute just for that reason.”
Daeana Barkubein, a member of the Mosaic Council and a junior literature major, hoped students would understand that racism and civil rights are still important issues today. “Talk to students of color, ask about their stories, and spend more time with them,” Barkubein said.
Tony Lokure, a sophomore psychology major, was looking for perspective when he joined the trip. “The more sides of a story you get, the more filling that story becomes. Being able to see and listen and interact with so many different voices can really make your insight and awareness just that much better,” Lokure said.
Michael Palmer, Associate Professor of Communications and Head of the International Student Association, applauded the well put together Institute. “One of the values of going was to see just how fresh and relevant those same issues are. It wasn’t that far back, it was quite recent American history, and some issues relevant then are very much relevant today,” Palmer said.
The Mosaic Council trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute strove to spark an important dialogue between students and impress upon them the value of all human life.