Activism & Leadership Through the Lens of the American Civil Rights Movement

This program provides students the opportunity to tie the past to the present by understanding the history of the Civil Rights Movement and considering its modern iterations in America. We will explore activism in action by examining the myriad leadership styles and strategies employed by trailblazers of the Civil Rights Movement, and use those lessons to inspire students to be agents of change in their own communities.

We will begin our program in Atlanta, GA by delving into the early life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We will make stops throughout Alabama where we will visit such iconic sites as The Rosa Parks Bus Stop, The Legacy Museum, and Edmund Pettis Bridge. We will end our trip in Memphis, TN with live music and dancing at BB King’s Blues Club on Beale Street, where black traveling musicians started performing as early as the 1860’s.  Students will return from this trip with greater empathy for those who are currently struggling for equity and/or justice, a greater sense of empowerment in their ability to be agents of change, and a greater sense of engagement and a willingness to not only stay informed about current social justice issues, but to also stay involved.

Program Notes

  • Please note: This trip conflicts with the March 11 SAT test date.
  • Families are responsible for transportation from the Memphis, TN airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.
  • During this trip students will stay in hotels and eat meals at the hotel and at local restaurants.

Program dates

March 4 -11, 2023

Program Eligibility

This program is open to all students with a preference towards students who have a demonstrated interest in activism, leadership, and/or African-American literature and history. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 6. Financial Aid is available to all qualifying students.

Faculty Trip Leaders

  • James Perry; Leah Moore

Approx. trip cost: $4,950 (*includes estimated one-way airfare from DA to Atlanta, GA)

Deerfield Academy’s Center for Service and Global Citizenship strives to make all of our travel programs affordable and accessible for all students while ensuring a high quality global education experience. While the costs of travel around the world have been rising steadily over the past several years, all of our trips are subsidized, and thanks to the generosity of many we are able to provide robust financial aid for qualifying students.

Helpful Links

  • CDC guidance on domestic travel during COVID-19

2023 Itinerary

*Itinerary is subject to change.

March 4

  • Students will depart from DA and fly from a New England based airport to Atlanta, GA

March 5:

  • Students will spend the day with a program orientation and discussion followed by a program opening dinner. 

March 6 – 7: Atlanta, GA

Activities will include:

  • Visit to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Park and engage in a service project with the organization Hands on Atlanta
  • Bus to Little Five Points and free exploration
  • Visit to Morehouse and Spelman 
  • Visit the National Center for Civil 
  • Drive to Montgomery, AL

March 8: Montgomery, AL

  • Morning visit to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and afternoon visit to the Legacy Museum

March 9: Selma and Birmingham, AL

  • Visits to the Freedom Rider Museum and Civil Rights Memorial Center
  • Drive to Selma, AL
  • Walk through Bloody Sunday March Trail and walk over Edmund Pettus Bridge
  • Drive to Birmingham, AL

March 10: Memphis, TN

  • Morning visit to tour the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the location of a 1963 bombing which killed four young girls, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
  • Afternoon drive to Memphis
  • Dinner, live music & dancing at BB Kings Blues Club 

March 11

  • Fly home **

** Families are responsible for transportation from the Memphis, TN airport to the student’s destination for the remainder of March break.