Civil Rights Pilgrimage

This week-long pilgrimage will traverse the U.S. South to experience places and learn about people that comprised the U.S. Southern Civil Rights Movement.

Program goals

Applicants should be open to the program's three goals:

  • Engage in personal formation through learning about the discernment processes of well- and lesser-known figures of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Experience a deepening of faith rooted in a commitment to racial justice and an understanding of religion that recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of all people.
  • Learn Civil Rights Movement history including its various influences, motivations, aims, actions, outcomes, and impacts.

Program structure

All participants are required to take part in the following components of the pilgrimage:

  • Pre-trip meetings in November and December to meet the group and prepare for the trip.
  • Pre-trip reading to familiarize oneself with the timeline of the Civil Rights Movement. (Books will be provided.)
  • Week-long tour of the South that integrates visits to museums, churches, and memorials with reflection, journaling, group prayer, and community building.
  • Post-trip reflection paper and presentation to share how the experience impacted you and what you learned.

Logistics and details

The week-long trip will take place in early- to mid-January 2022. The tentative dates are January 5-12.

We will visit museums, churches, memorials, restaurants, and parks in several cities. The itinerary is not yet finalized but may include locations such as Nashville, Atlanta, Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma, Jackson, and Memphis.

Students selected to participate in the program are expected to pay $300 to help cover costs associated with transportation, lodging, and museum fees. We will travel via chartered bus and stay in shared hotel rooms (3-4 students per room).

Application process

All Marquette students are welcome to apply regardless of class standing or program (undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral). As space is limited on the trip, not all applicants will be invited to attend. Thus, there is a two-step application process.

Step 1:

Complete the online application by 1 p.m. on Monday, October 4, 2021.

Please email Chris Jeske ( if you encounter any technical issues with the application.

Step 2:

Some applicants will be invited to participate in a face-to-face interview (either in person or on Teams). We anticipate these interviews will take place in mid- to late-October.

Organizing team

The Civil Rights Pilgrimage is jointly organized and led by a team of Marquette faculty and staff.

  • Cedric Burrows, assistant professor of English
  • Chris Jeske, associate director, Center for Peacemaking
  • Parisa Shirazi, program associate, Center for Peacemaking
  • Robert Smith, Harry G. John professor of History and director of CURTO

Please direct any questions to Parisa Shirazi (