Students from Washington, DC have travelled across the south to learn about civil rights history which brought them here to Meridian to learn about James Chaney. “We plan a summer journey every year for our group of juniors, rising seniors to get the experience of the south, I think the south has so much history that a lot of them don’t know about and as the students have spoken about that we aren’t really taught within our schools,” said Nikki Perkins, program coordinator. Many students collected souvenirs to share at Chaney’s grave from the numerous civil rights stops they made across the south.
“We brought little pieces of each of those sites to his grave to show him the movement still lives on and we’re still fighting for it,” said Liam Herron. Becoming the next leaders is what most students have gotten from the trip. “The way that leaders made change in this city really inspires me as an individual and as someone who wants to make change in the future and I feel as though learning about this history and coming here today has really inspired me to make change the same way that these people in history have,” said Maya Canady. “I’ve learned that it’s so much to the civil rights movement than just Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and kind of the big leaders that you here of. I’ve learned that the education system has kind of failed the youth in not really educating them on the hardships that African-Americans and also Jewish kids had to go through in The South, and I’m glad that all of us could share this experience,” said Sadiq Araye.