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Leadership Team

Team & Contact   Scholar Advisors   Board of Directors   Contact Sojourn

FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Steinberg founded Sojourn to the Past in 1999 and continues to serve as the lead educator on the academic immersion journeys. He retired from a 14-year career as an Advanced Placement History teacher/Department Chair in the San Francisco Bay Area to work full time with Sojourn to the Past. He designed the rigorous, Common Core Standards aligned Sojourn to the Past curriculum and continues to connect contemporary issues of racism to the historical material presented to students.

Since its inception, Mr. Steinberg has led over six thousand students through Sojourn’s living history lesson, along the path of the Civil Rights Movement, through five states in the American South. Currently, Sojourn to the Past is active throughout California, in New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts. Additionally, Mr. Steinberg makes hundreds of interactive presentations annually across the country on the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and their relationship to current human rights issues and conditions. Upwards of 300,000 people have participated in his presentations. Mr. Steinberg and the Sojourn Program are the recipients of numerous state and national honors and awards, most recently the Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. (Advancing Nonviolence Through Generations of Exceptional Leadership) Award presented at the King Center. To contact Mr. Steinberg: jeff@sojournproject.com



TEACHER/ADVISOR Minnijean Brown Trickey was one of a group of African-American teenagers known as the “Little Rock Nine.” Brown, along with eight others (Thelma Mothershed, Elizabeth Eckford, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, Melba Pattillo, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls, Daisy Bates, and Ernest Green) faced down an angry mob and helped to desegregate Central High on September 25, 1957, under the gaze of 1,200 armed soldiers. During the Sojourn trips, Minnijean conducts a class in Little Rock, Arkansas, on tolerance, bigotry, hate groups, and the ongoing struggle for social justice. Her firsthand experience with blatant racial hatred is uniquely poignant, and, as a lifelong activist, Brown-Trickey is able to articulate the encounter with clarity and perspective. Her testimony not only exposes Sojourn students to the effects of injustices of the past, but also serves as a noteworthy example of how they can act to prevent discrimination in their communities.


TEACHER/ADVISOR Kenneth Mason earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Hendrix College in Arkansas. After completing his undergraduate degree, he joined the Teach for America (TFA) corps and taught at Castlemont High School in Oakland for four years. While at Castlemont, Mr. Mason took his students on Sojourn to the Past and fell in love with the mission and vision of the organization. While developing as a school and community leader in the Bay Area, Mr. Mason earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at the University of San Francisco and facilitated the creation of one of the pioneer FIRST Robotics teams in the region in partnership with representatives from NASA. Mr. Mason currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he is a founding board member and advisory council chair for KIPP Strive Academy and Primary schools in metro Atlanta.


ADVISOR (BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA) Lisa McNair is the oldest living daughter of Chris and Maxine McNair who are the parents of Denise McNair, one of the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. For eighteen years, she worked at the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau promoting tourism. She was instrumental in developing the Birmingham, Jefferson County Civil Rights Historic Tours. Currently, she is employed by a non-profit organization, Hand-In-Paw, which helps people ‘heal with animal assisted therapy”.






CONSULTANT Steve Schulz is a graduate from the University of San Francisco where he earned a degree in United States History. He served as Sojourn’s Office Manager, Technology Coordinator, and Curriculum Support for several years and continues to consult with the organization.


BOOKKEEPER Lucy Cerecedes has worked with Sojourn to the Past since its inception in 1999. Prior to her work with our organization, Ms. Cerecedes served as a School Financial Assistant at Capuchino High School. She has over 20 years experience in educational bookkeeping.


Key to the living history component of the Sojourn academic immersion journeys are the ten lecturers who meet and offer historical insight to the subject matter based on their personal experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. Among these are US Congressman John Lewis (young leader during the Movement); Minnijean Brown Trickey and Elizabeth Eckford (Little Rock Nine); MacArthur Genius Award recipient Jerry Mitchell (whose investigative reporting brought to justice the murderers of civil rights leaders); Rev. Billy Kyles (close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr).; the family of Vernon Dahmer Sr. (who was murdered for registering Mississippi residents to vote); the McNair Family (whose daughter was killed in the Klan bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama). For the complete roster of speakers, click here.

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, former participant

Civil Rights Resource Center