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Performing Stars’ Go On Civil Rights Tour of Alabama



Members of the Performing Stars Social Justice Youth Initiative visits Mayor Steven Reed (in suit and tie), of Montgomery, Ala. Photo by Felecia Gaston.

By Godfrey Lee

Twenty-two members of the Performing Stars youth and staff took a Civil Rights Social Justice trip to visit Montgomery and other parts of Alabama from Aug. 14-18. They returned on Friday, Aug.19.

Performing Stars previously traveled to Montgomery in 2018. On this trip, they met the city’s first Black mayor, Steven Reed. They also visited the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, the National Voting Rights Museum, the Rosa Parks Museum, Tuskegee University, and Alabama State University.

The trip, a part of Performing Star’s Civic Education Program, focuses on leadership development to better understand how former civil rights leaders fought for freedom, voting equality and prepared the next generation to carry on the important work that is needed in the Marin City community.

Fourteen young people in the group were involved with the Social Justice Youth Initiative, formed in 2018 by Performing Stars, and performed various duties and activities for several years, such as community outreach, voter registration, service learning, food distribution, office administration, and archiving Marin City history.

“We want them to come out and be the new social justice leaders,” Performing Stars CEO Felecia Gaston told Giuseppe Ricapito of the Marin IJ. “What better way to do that than where it all began.”

ABC7 KGO-TV anchor Kumasi Aaron interviewed Gaston before the group went on the trip, and asked about The Performing Stars Social Justice Youth Initiative program, and the Civil Rights Educational Tour.

Gaston said Civil Rights Education has always been important. “In the light of what is going on in our country at this point, we need to educate our young people so they will become the new social activists,” she said.

And going to Alabama is to go where the action took place, where history was made in 1963 when Birmingham firemen hosed down Black protesters and sicced dogs on them.

The Performing Stars, familiar with the real foundation, felt encouraged and excited to now be able to reach more young people in the community about voting and why it is important to vote.

They documented their trip with photographs and videos and will edit their photos and videos and feature them on the local stations here and social media upon their return.

“They will be the up-and-coming journalists,” Gaston said.

This educational tour was sponsored by the TomKat Foundation.  Contributing supporters included the Marin County Board of Supervisors, and the Marin County Probation Department.

The post Performing Stars’ Go On Civil Rights Tour of Alabama first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.


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