Civil Rights Museum visit to give students experiential opportunity to increase cultural awareness

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Lipscomb students will have an opportunity to learn more about one of the nation’s most pivotal eras with a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday, Oct. 28.

The “History Before the Movement” tour of the National Civil Rights Museum is sponsored by Lipscomb Office of Intercultural Development and is designed to provide a transformative learning opportunity for students. It is part of the university’s Respect Leads initiative.

“Initiatives such as the History Before the Movement tour fosters learning that furthers an individual’s basic world view and provides opportunities to see themselves in others,” said Keandra Golden, interim coordinator of African American Student Services in the Office of Intercultural Development. “Students going on this trip will be allotted an excellent opportunity to not only learn more about the struggles of others, reframe their thinking and reflect critically, but to find ways through the experiences of others to address issues that they're having today.” 

The History Before the Movement tour is open to 30 Lipscomb students. A few spots are still available. Registration is $20 and includes transportation, admission to the museum and lunch. Vans will depart from the Lipscomb campus at 7 a.m. on Oct. 28. The museum tour is scheduled for 11 a.m. following by lunch. Students will return to campus at approximately 5:30 p.m.

“This trip was planned in an effort to provide students with an experiential learning opportunity, to provide further context for the cultural conversations happening in and around our campus community,” said Golden. “This trip is one that has been a staple within the Office of Intercultural Development, providing an outlet each year for continued conversations surrounding bridge building and cross cultural dialogue.”

Accompanying the students are Golden, who is also academic programs manager in the College of Professional Studies; Aerial Ellis, instructor of public relations; Michelle Steele, academic director for the Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership; and Phyllis Hildreth, academic director for the Institute for Conflict Management. They will lead students in discussions as they travel back to campus from Memphis to allow students the opportunity to reflect and review the items they observed throughout the museum tour and to provide pastoral care.

“They will also pose questions related to vocalizing feelings, next steps —the so what and applicability of the movement to the happenings within our current climate among other topics,” said Golden.

The National Civil Rights Museum is a complex of museums and historic buildings, including the Lorraine Motel, site of the assassination of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Its exhibits trace the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.

For more information or to register for the trip, contact Golden at or 615.966.1106.