WASHINGTON (JTA) — Some two dozen black and Jewish high school students launched a civil rights tour of the South.
The 22 students, who left Washington Wednesday morning, are part of Operation Understanding DC, an organization that aims to bring together black and Jewish students to eradicate discrimination.
The 11th-graders from across the Washington area will visit towns in five states where key events took place in the civil rights movement. They are scheduled to speak with current and past civil rights leaders, as well as visit Jewish, Baptist, Pentecostal and Muslim congregations.
They will visit the hotel balcony in Memphis, Tenn., where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and the last Orthodox synagogue in Mississippi, among other places. Along with Tennessee and Mississippi, the students will go to Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.
The annual trip comes at the end of a six-month program of meetings and lectures. Its goal is to help the participants develop leadership roles in community engagement and civil rights. Upon their return, the students help facilitate community workshops.