Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement

PROJECT-C-SINGLE-PERSON-LOGOProject C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement is a three-year series of electronic field trips taking place throughout the civil rights 50th anniversary. Project C will focus on the role of citizenship in a democracy through the study of historical events and examine the past to teach the importance of civic engagement in support of a humane, civil and just society. Project C is funded, in part, by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. For more information, click here.

The first of three Project C live webcasts are scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 29th at 10:30 am and 12:30 am central time.  All three webcasts for this year will use Birmingham-based civil rights events as a historical context for the study of civic engagement. Each webcast is 30 minutes in length. The webcasts combine pre-produced segments and interaction with guest experts. Students can participate in polls, tweet their questions via Twitter, send them through email or post them online ahead of time for possible inclusion in the live segments.

The experts include historians and individuals who were directly involved in the Civil Rights Movement. “The events in Birmingham provide the background that enables kids to explore difficult issues, such as inequality and fairness,” Kirk said. “Project C gets them talking about how they can get involved, how they can make a difference. It’s all about civic engagement.”

Students can submit videos illustrating inequalities they identify in their schools, neighborhoods or community and how they can be addressed, helping them put the events of 50 years ago into present day context. “Our goal is to help connect history to their lives today,” she said.

And the conversation doesn’t stop when the episode is over. “We are trying to continue to generate conversation with the kids,” Kirk said. Community leaders in schools are identified to upload content and update the Project C website and keep the conversation going at their schools. There is an ongoing Twitter feed and blog. “By far, this project offers more opportunities for interaction than any previous electronic field trip project,” Kirk said.

“What’s so important about what we at APT do with Journey Proud and other programs is instill curiosity and a love for learning, which is why we go out of our way to make as much as possible available for use in the classroom,” Holmes said. “Textbooks offer a lot of important information and lessons, but I’ve never seen a textbook that can show me the wonder of what’s in my own back yard. It’s very easy these days to know more about places we’ll never see than the place where we are.”

Holmes credited Alabama Humanities Foundation as a significant help in furthering APT’s mission. “Without the continued support of AHF, we would be severely constrained in our ability to tell Alabama’s stories and inspire our students to wonder about what’s right here at home. Documenting our culture is critical to knowing our own story, but telling that story and inspiring others to understand the connections we all share can’t be overlooked. There’s nothing sadder than the story that’s never told.”

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The webcasts and supporting online resources that are available to Project C registered educators meet curriculum standards for social studies and history. These resources are available at:

The Q & A segments will feature U.S. Congresswoman Terry Sewell and BCRI educator Ahmad Ward responding to students’ questions live on camera in APT’s Washington Studio. The community engagement webpage for registered participants is  Students and teachers can participate in Project C and begin to build community action by uploading their own videos, stories and other content.

APT and AHF hopes you will be able to watch and participate in Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement on October 29th.