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Upcoming 'Civil Rights Road Trip' aims to help West Michiganders learn and reflect

Civil Rights Road Trip
Momentum Center
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Upcoming 'Civil Rights Road Trip' aims to help West Michiganders learn and reflect

"This trip is a culmination of the work of our anti-racism task force and the lens of cultural immersion," Barbara Lee VanHorssen, Executive Director of the Momentum Center, said.

The Momentum Center for Social Engagement is calling "all aboard" for a civil rights road trip this spring. The grassroots nonprofit, aimed at creating a stigma-free community, is inviting West Michiganders from all backgrounds to join a four-day, three-night bus trip from Grand Haven to Birmingham and Montgomery Alabama, as well as a stop in Memphis, Tennessee. The trip will look into America’s past inequities and growth in the fight for civil rights.

"This trip is a culmination of the work of our anti-racism task force and the lens of cultural immersion," Barbara Lee VanHorssen, Executive Director of the Momentum Center, said. "There’s so much polarity, as we all know, in our society today, and if we’re going to overcome that, we need to start with educating ourselves and with developing empathy and understanding for lives and situations that are different than ours.”

Van Horssen will be leading the April 18-21 trip. While the center usually hosts international immersion experiences, those had to be put on hold due to COVID-19. She said that opens the door to explore important spaces in our own backyards.

“I think what I’m most excited about is the opportunity to meet at the Equal Justice Institute...Then we’ll head to Selma. We’ll Walk the Pettis Bridge, and then we’ll move onto Montgomery," she explained. "These aren’t necessarily all happy, fun conversations…its going to require a willingness to be vulnerable and uncomfortable.”

The cost of the trip rounds out to about $760 per person. Registration closes March 15.

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