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Franklin Pierce University Group Experiences Civil Rights & Service Immersion Program

June 6, 2014

image textNine Franklin Pierce University students and two staff members traveled to Alabama on May 16 to engage in a weeklong service/Civil Rights immersion program, sponsored by the University’s Department of Student Involvement. Throughout the spring semester, students gathered as a group with the trip advisors, Scott Ansevin-Allen and Derek Scalia, to discuss topics of poverty, Civil Rights, and the life of Keene native and activist Jonathan Daniels.

While in Alabama, the group volunteered for two days with Habitat for Humanity in Montgomery, and for two days of literacy work in the town of Hayneville at the Central Elementary School. The group retraced significant events within the Civil Rights Movement as they walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, visited the site of Jonathan Daniels murder at the Cash Store in Hayneville, walked through Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham and the airfields in Tuskegee, and concluded with a visit to the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery. To better understand the increasing income inequality in the United States, the group participated in the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge for two days.

At the conclusion of the trip, the Franklin Pierce University trip advisors, Ansevin-Allen and Scalia, felt they had achieved their goals of giving participants a better understanding of the importance and significance of the Civil Rights Movement, as well as a greater awareness of significant issues challenging America today. Scalia said, “The trip to Alabama was a moving and powerful experience for all of the participants. I was especially moved in Hayneville, as we retraced the steps of Jonathan Daniels. As a group, we laid a stone from Keene at the site of where Jonathan Daniels was murdered.” Ansevin-Allen reflected, “It was a week of profound growth and understanding for members of the group. The individual journaling and evening discussions we did on the trip not only enhanced the experience, but challenged participants to really think and allow their pre-conceived notions to be vulnerable as they immersed themselves in the experience.”

Photo caption: Franklin Pierce May Break students, staff, and the future homeowner at the site of the Habitat for Humanity site in Montgomery, Ala.  

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FRANKLIN PIERCE UNIVERSITY
                 An education that matters.

Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

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