By River Mitchell
With COVID-19 restrictions a thing of the past, alternative spring break trips are back in full swing at Springfield College for the first time since 2019. One of the trips, which will be led by Communications Professor Marty Dobrow and Vice President for Inclusion and Community Engagement Calvin Hill, will go to Georgia and Alabama on an educational vacation to learn more about the history of civil rights in America. Professor of English and Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences Missy-Marie Montgomery, and Director of Spiritual Life David McMahon will also join the trip.
The trip will begin on Saturday, March 11, as the group will leave from Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Conn. and fly to Atlanta, G.A. Once there, faculty and students will visit The King Center, and go to a church service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. was the co-pastor with his dad. They will also visit The Museum of American Civil and Human Rights, as Dobrow hopes to see MLK’s birth site and the CNN Headquarters.
From there, the faculty and students will make the trip by car to Alabama, where they will go visit the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. They will also visit the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, and a few spots in Montgomery; including the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and The Legacy Museum. From there they will make their way back to Atlanta, where they will return to Connecticut on Wednesday evening.
Dobrow, who has often written on topics of social justice, teaches a course in Journalism Social Justice. He is really looking forward to educating students about the history of civil rights.
“I love seeing the excitement of students as they are awakened to these issues,” Dobrow said. “Springfield College draws a lot of very good-hearted students, who I think are hungry to learn this kind of history.”
This exact same trip was scheduled to happen in March of 2020, but was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dobrow is feeling optimistic, but hopes that nothing that may interfere with the trip happens.
“Fingers crossed, knock on wood, four-leaf clovers, every conceivable piece of good luck (that helps make this trip happen),” Dobrow said. “The COVID journey is one that we are managing better in our country and on our campus, but it hasn’t gone away. I certainly hope that there is not a reprise that would knock this out. But at this point, it seems like all systems are go.”
The cost of the trip is around $450. However, Springfield College is covering about 75% of the cost, making it much more affordable for students and families.
“I’m so supportive of that,” Dobrow said. “The College should be underwriting this, the College should be opening up these opportunities to students, and you still get a few days of your spring break.”
There are still slots available for the trip, and there is a brief Google form that asks students to fill out necessary information. This is followed by a very brief interview process. If there are any questions about the trip, or you are interested in attending, email Calvin Hill at email@example.com or Marty Dobrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press