Washington, DC – Five students participating as Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Communications interns will have the opportunity to report from one of the most pivotal sites during the civil rights movement as they participate in the Civil Rights Pilgrimage sponsored by the Faith & Politics Institute from March 2-4. The three day passage will emphasize the critical role religious leaders, their congregants and the courage of thousands played in shaping our nation’s history.
The students, accompanied by Elsie L. Scott, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of CBCF will visit the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, the Dexter Avenue Church and Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Forty-seven years ago, the bridge was the site of an internationally-captured display of violence, as police attacked marchers with billy clubs and tear gas. Rep. John Lewis, leader of the Congressional pilgrimage delegation, will share with the group first-hand experience of being beaten on the bridge. Rep. Lewis is a member of the CBCF Board of Directors.
“This pilgrimage is far more than ceremonial. Not only will CBCF interns walk the path taken by thousands on Bloody Sunday, they will be reminded that if we do not remain vigilant, history will repeat itself,” said Dr. Scott. “That day was an impetus for the passing of the Voting Rights Act – one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the history of African Americans. In 2012, we continue to fight the efforts of several states across the U.S. that have passed Voter ID laws which could prevent millions of voters, many of whom are African American and elderly, from casting ballots in this election year,” said Dr. Scott.
This outside experience provides additional depth to the internship in which the students work directly with Congressional communications directors and contribute substantially through researching legislation, preparing press releases, writing opinion editorials, writing arguments for positioning, organizing and helping to prepare for briefings and forums. Interns will also post blogs on CBCF’s web site at www.cbcfinc.org. You can also keep tabs on the students’ experience on CBCF’s Facebook page and on Twitter. The internship program is supported by funding from State Farm Insurance.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., established in 1976, is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy, research and educational institute intended to broaden and elevate the influence of African Americans in the political, legislative and public policy arenas.