Participants in the Selma to Montgomery marches

Participants in the Selma to Montgomery marches

A new travel study course offered at Winona State University will explore the Civil Rights Movement and its role in American history while immersing students in various elements of Southern culture.

The course, “Tracking the Civil Rights Movement, 1955-2014,” pairs on-campus classes with a June 16-30 travel itinerary that includes stops at historic sites in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi and participation in celebration events for the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer.

Said John Campbell, Professor of History at WSU: “By visiting historically-significant Civil Rights Movement sites, as well as interacting one-on-one with veterans of the Movement, students will acquire a rich body of knowledge about this crucial aspect of recent American history.”

Student participants will learn firsthand about community organizing techniques of the Civil Rights Movement era and make connections to similar efforts taking place in today’s society around issues such as voting rights, environmental justice, Black incarceration rates, and the “schoolhouse to jailhouse” phenomenon.

The course will be led by Campbell; Tomas Tolvaisas, Associate Professor of History at WSU; and Alex Hines, Director of Inclusion and Diversity at WSU; along with Joe Morse, local activist and veteran of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

Follow the progress of the trip as told by student Jordan Gerard at

For more information, visit the WSU travel study webpage or contact John Campbell, Tomas Tolvaisas or Alex Hines

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Andrea Northam

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