Welcome to Sojourn to the Past

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About Sojourn   Vision/Mission   Values   Sojourn Action Plans   Photo Gallery
Sojourn student with Vernon Dahmer Jr.
Hattiesburg, MS
“Programs like Sojourn to the past help ensure America’s future as a land of liberty and justice for all…The Sojourn to the Past project highlights the themes of nonviolence, forgiveness, faith, and tolerance as it leads students –literally-down the roads that have defined the American civil rights movement.”
-Barbara Boxer, United States Senator (excerpted from her Excellence in Education Award)
“Not only are your students prepared for and open to my life lessons, they are compassionate, considerate and dedicated to making change in our country. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of young people and thank you for helping change our country.”
Congressman John Lewis, Member of the Sojourn National Advisory Committee
“Sojourn to the Past is a remarkable program. By connecting a new generation to the people and places where civil rights history was made, it’s helping to ensure that history repeats itself — in the best possible way.”
-Richard Cohen, President & CEO Southern Poverty Law Center (National Advisory Committee and Community Partner)
“Sojourn to the Past provides students the unique opportunity for them to delve into an important part of America’s history, which the k-12 curriculum either does not cover or is limited in scope; thus, the Sojourn living history lesson ensures that the struggles of the past, which contributed to the freedoms we all enjoy today, are remembered.”
“Forty years post the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle for equity throughout the system remains. As veteran leaders of the movement age, it is clearly our responsibility to insure that the vigilance continues. Sojourn to the Past is one such tool. Through a ten day journey that immerses and personalizes for students the historical dynamics of dominance, the politics of difference, and the courage of those who rose to the challenge, students learn the history of the Civil Rights Movement while they examine present day systems, individual behavior, language and thoughts that perpetuate racism and discrimination.”
-Ethel Konopka, Founding Member Sojourn to the Past Board of Directors
“Sojourn to the Past experiences accorded me with the opportunity to reflect on who I am and on how I teach my courses.”
-Joseph, Professor
“This trip teaches them history, respect, values and kindness.”
-Karen, Parent of Participant
“What an amazing, impactful program you have put together. What a powerful way to connect today’s youth to our nation’s past, putting a human face to the heroic yet often harrowing stories of the civil rights movement.”
-Cris, Parent of Participant
Sojourners march across the famous bridge
of Bloody Sunday. Selma, AL

“I cannot describe what a very unique and life changing experience Sojourn was. I feel as if I went from seeing the world from black and white to color…I realized about myself that I have the power to change the world.”
-Priyanka, Participant
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn and live history for these days. This is an amazing program for educating people in so many ways. I hope Sojourn to the Past continues for many more years.”
-Samantha, Participant


“Thank you sooooo much for beginning this amazing program. It really is life changing… I learned so much and I loved every second of the trip and I feel so fortunate to have taken it. It was amazing to meet all the speakers and visit all the places that we did. It really was a once in a lifetime opportunity… I really do feel like I can make a difference… Thank you so much for this amazing and inspiring trip.”
-Melissa, Participant
“I feel that this trip has truly changed my life. I actually enjoyed the lectures and long bus rides… I only wish I could have stayed for another week. I really hope you continue these trips so my children will have the opportunity to come.”
-Porsche, Participant
“It’s been about four months since I went on Sojourn and I have tried to adopt the principles of nonviolence. When I have children, it is how I shall raise them.”
-Dan, Participant
“This trip changes peoples’ lives for the better and makes us realize that we can be the change…we are ordinary people who can do extraordinary things. This trip has made me become a better person. Thank you so much for being part of my change. Everyone should be able to have this experience to change for the better.”
-Monica, Participant
“This program restores the dream of these many dreamers back to life. By instilling these principles in us, the future, you are allowing the dreams to stay alive and working in full force. You have opened a door of hope for the continuous struggle for justice.”
-Ariana, Participant
“This trip was a life altering event that has forever changed the way I look at the world.”
-Rebecca, Participant
“Sojourn is not just a trip but an odyssey that has the power to change lives….Sojourn to the Past deeply impacted my life in a way that I never imagined something could….Though I was saddened from learning such hurtful history, I was strengthened in knowing that I possessed the power to create a more just reality”
-Marcel, Participant
“This trip helped me realize what we can do as a society and how we, ordinary people can do extraordinary things”
-Lisa, Participant
“The whole country should get the chance to experience what I did.”
-Alessa, Participant
“I learned so much more on the Sojourn trip than I ever could have learned in a classroom…It was one of the best lessons that I”ve ever had, and I wish that everyone in the country could take the trip…I know I learned lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
-Renee, Participant
“I wish everyone had an opportunity to go on Sojourn, because i think everyone should learn the lessons of tolerance and struggle that they can only learn first hand from those people involved in the Civil rights fight.”
-Amy, Participant
“The Sojourn trip truly altered my philosophy and provided me the extra boost for me to pursue a life dedicated to social justice.”
-Jennifer, Participant
“Sojourn to the Past was definitely a pivotal point in my life and certainly a large part of the reason I work in advocacy now.”
-Esther, Participant
“This trip taught me so much, mainly the value of life, the value of my life, and how I shouldn’t always risk it over trivial things.”
-Chris, Participant
“Thank you so much for making this trip happen so I could change my life, the lives of those around me, and hopefully one day the lives of my generation and those to follow.”
-Kelly, Participant
“Sojourn to the Past has really helped me grow as a person and be more open and friendly.”
-Phillip, Participant
“Things I’ve learned about myself on this trip: I can enjoy learning, I can volunteer in class, I can learn more from my peers, I can be someone”s Robin, I am not alone, I am the future, I can continue the dream, I can make a difference NOW.”
-Gina, Participant
“This program restores the dream of these many dreamers back to life. By instilling these principles in us, the future, you are allowing the dreams to stay alive and working in full force…you have opened a door of hope for the continuous struggle for justice.”
-Christiana, Participant
“I learned so much and I loved every second of the trip and I feel so fortunate to have taken it.”
-Melissa, Participant

Civil Rights Resource Center