Our Voices

Student Madison Thomas On STTP’s Civil Rights Trip

  • By
  • Madison Thomas

The RFK Human and Civil rights trip was an enlightening experience for both me and my peers. We started the trip off by visiting the Blanton Museum of Art, the focus of the tour was on how diversity is expressed through art. First, we sat down and analyzed a complex painting that seemed to be overwhelming, however, the tour guide directed us to study the painting in pieces, making it easier to understand the nuances and purpose. This lesson applies to more than just paintings, and when I left Blanton, I held a deeper understanding of how becoming purposeful in trying to understand other perspectives makes it easier. The next day, we traveled to Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and received an interactive introduction to Human Rights Education. This lesson taught us how to incorporate human rights into our school, using examples of things as simple as correcting others when they misgender someone, and then on a bigger scale, staging walk outs or speaking to administration about injustices. We then spoke about our time on a civil rights trip to cities in Alabama, and the important lessons we learned there, including, how the civil rights movement transformed America, how the pioneers of the movement enacted change, and that our voice has just as much power and importance now, as theirs did in the 1950’s. The trip was extremely education because it taught me more in depth about the tragedy and triumphs that occurred during the civil rights movement that are not recognized as much and made me realize how important it is to use my voice for change. We are obligated to speak out against injustice, so that the future generations are allowed even better opportunities than we have, just like the establishers of the civil rights movement did. The next day, full of excitement from the previous discussions, we sat down and spoke with ConnectHer filmmakers about the role film has in inspiring change, and how we, as filmmakers, can use it as a medium to spread out platform. Finally, we concluded our time with an edifying discussion with Jehmu Greene, the founder and CEO of We Defend Truth, who spoke to us about fighting misinformation in the media. All in all, the trip was very educational and informative, while also being fun and allowing us to use our voice as a platform for change.