Welcome to Sojourn to the Past

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About Sojourn

Vision/Mission   Values   Sojourn Action Plans   Testimonials   Photo Gallery

To learn about Sojourn to the Past from Congressman John Lewis, watch his personal message below.

Sojourn to the Past is an award winning, nationally recognized Civil Rights Movement  educational  program that is aligned with state and national curriculum standards. Our program provides participants with an opportunity to earn college credit and is made available to underserved students. The journey is a life-changing experience for our participants, and we have led thousands of students through the hallowed sites of the Freedom Struggle.

Sojourn has recently been honored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, by the National Education Association, and by the United States Congress as a unique and exemplary social justice education outreach program for youth. (Tribute made on the floor of the House of Representatives by Congressman Lewis).

Sojourn to the Past is a unique, transformative, and empowering academic immersion program that takes middle school students, 11th and 12th graders, and college students on a moving journey along the path of the Civil Rights Movement through the American South.

The academic Sojourn to the Past experience brings the lessons of our shared American history to life. Sojourn’s holistic educational approach incorporates music, text and video into a rigorous curriculum that introduces students to historical sites, monuments and museums. Most importantly, students are able to interact with the foot soldiers of the Movement themselves. These speakers include United States Congressman John Lewis and members of the Little Rock Nine, who like the students, were young when they took up the cause for social change. To date, more than 6,000 students and teachers have participated in over sixty journeys.

Sojourn to the Past has received several awards for the transformative experience it offers students. Among the honors: THE PRESIDENT’S COMMITTEE ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES YOUTH PROGRAM AWARD, THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION CARTER G. WOODSON MEMORIAL AWARD, THE CIVIL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD, and THE CORETTA SCOTT KING A.N.G.E.L. (Advancing Nonviolence through Generations of Exceptional Leadership) AWARD.

With racially motivated and hate-based crime on the rise, Sojourn is significant, not only for its historical and educational value, but, more importantly, for the burgeoning recognition of responsibility our students acquire as a result of their experience. In turn, our students put the lessons they learn from the Movement into practice in their schools and communities. We foster learning that helps create a more civil society: free of discrimination, violence, hatred, bigotry, and inequity.


“Programs like Sojourn to the Past ensure America’s future as a land of liberty and justice for all.” – United States Senator Barbara Boxer



This trip helped me realize what we can do as a society and how we, ordinary people, can do extraordinary things
-Lisa, former student

Civil Rights Resource Center