The Sojourn Project, established in 1999 by Jeff Steinberg, a former history teacher from California, seeks to inform students about the untold history of the Civil Rights movement. For over 20 years, Steinberg has conducted 97 trips with over 9600 students. And, as of last year, he has decided to take this project to Oregon.
This project will take students to seven different cities in the south to learn about each town’s rich history. Students will visit historical sites, tour museums and be taught by the unsung activists and their families of the Civil Rights movement.
“What really inspired me [to start this] is that people don’t get ‘it.’ [People don’t] really understand what real nonviolence is, real courage, real forgiveness, that language is a form of violence,” Steinberg explained. “And I thought, ‘who better describes that than people in the civil rights movement?’”
This trip will take place for Oregon kids over spring break, from March 20-27, not missing one day of school. This trip will cover seven cities, each with a rich history of activists and their families, all enthusiastic to share the stories of the people who, as Steinberg believes, truly founded America.
This trip does more than just uncover the parts of history that isn’t in any textbook, this also helps with college. By going on this trip and doing a small amount of work afterwards, students will receive three college credits. And it doesn’t stop there.
“I love the word ‘transformation’ and if anyone is looking for transformation, [this trip can help you]. I call it a journey of the soul. Because the person you learn the most about on this journey is not any of the speakers,” Steinberg said. “Who do you think is the person you learn the most about?”
“And that’s what transformation is. When you see yourself reflected.”
Of course, a trip like this doesn’t come cheap. The total cost for this eight-day journey is $3400. However, this program offers up a lot of financial aid. A recurring theme with its promise that undocumented students are just as welcome on this trip as anyone else.
“I realized really quickly this isn’t just for my students. This is for everyone because this is how we can help our country heal,” Steinberg concluded. “By saying it’s not about what will happen to me if I speak out, it’s what’ll happen to everyone if I don’t speak out.”
Though Steinberg was only able to give his presentation about the history behind this class to a select few classes, he will be back in Oregon with more information on Nov. 21 at Jesuit High School from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
To sign up for more information on this trip, visit http://sojournproject.com/sign-up/. For more information about the Sojourn Project, visit www.sojournproject.com or call (650) 952-1510.