NBRPA, Stand for Children take New Orleans youth on unforgettable civil rights tour

June 26, 2014

Photo credits: Laura Brookhart

June 25 was a special day of first-hand learning for more than 200 boys and girls, ages 11-16, as the NBRPA teamed up with the New Orleans branch of Stand for Children Louisiana to take New Orleans youth on an educational Civil Rights History tour of Birmingham, Alabama. The group made stops at the world-acclaimed Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Historic 16th Street Baptist Church, Rickwood Field (the oldest American baseball stadium that was home to the Black Barons of the Negro Leagues) and the University of Alabama.

“As part of our charitable mission, the NBRPA works to improve communities and give back to youth,” said NBRPA President & CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “This Civil Rights History Tour was a wonderful opportunity for us to join forces with Stand™ for Children and the New Orleans City Council to deliver a truly unique and moving experience to the youth of New Orleans and allow them the opportunity to travel and learn about several landmark moments and places in the Civil Rights movement. Thanks to all of our partners and panel of experts for helping make this very special trip – our fifth – come to fruition.”

The Civil Rights History tour was made possible in part by contributions from First NBC Bank, Jones Walker and Liberty ‘64. Like the historic city of New Orleans, First NBC Bank was born on the Mississippi River and bred on commerce with the belief that providing real customer service and relationship banking is what customers are looking for in today’s financial market. Jones Walker is committed to providing proactive legal services to major multinational, public, and private corporations; Fortune 500® companies; money center banks and worldwide insurers; and family and emerging businesses located in the United States and abroad. Liberty '64 is a non-profit, volunteer organization in the State of Louisiana formed for the purpose of recognizing the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act signing through educational activities and commemorations including panel discussions, exhibits and other programs.

This very special journey through Civil Rights History was attended by Rev. Samson "Skip" Alexander, who was on the frontline of the civil rights movement and marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. Dorothy Smith, Dillard University Dean of General Studies; Keith Plessy, a descendent of Homer Plessy from the landmark Plessy V. Ferguson Supreme Court case; and NBRPA Member Marvin Roberts, former NBA/ABA player and currently Assistant Vice-President for Student Engagement & Diversity at Utah State University. The NBRPA would also like to thank Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman, the New Orleans City Council, former New Orleans Councilman James Carter and New Orleans community leaders Bill Aaron, Cheron Brylski, Damon Burns, Ronald Burns, Leslie Jacobs, Babs Johnson, Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Larry Orlansky, William and Debra Quigley, Joyce Roche, Robert Reilly and Tracie Washington, for their role in making this exciting youth initiative possible.

The day-long Civil Rights History tour was packed with educational activities intertwined with sports as part of an opportunity to let New Orleans youth experience travel with an all-expense paid trip. New Orleans City Councilmember LaToya Cantrell and her office were instrumental in recruiting participants for the trip and ensuring that any New Orleans youth between the ages of 11-16 that were interested in the opportunity could attend.

“The City of New Orleans is at the heart of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Councilmember Cantrell. “The youth of our city were provided with a great opportunity to make a stronger connection to the movement as they learned and explored their legacy during travels in Birmingham, Alabama.”

The first stop on the trip was the annual Rickwood Classic, a tribute to old-fashioned baseball. This year, the Birmingham Barons matched up against the Mississippi Braves, with both teams honoring their legacies by wearing throwback uniforms. As part of the agenda at Rickwood Field, Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. addressed the youngsters and spoke on the rich Civil Rights Legacy of his city.

Following the baseball game, the youth visited the 16th Street Baptist Church, the site where four little girls lost their life in a tragic bombing in 1963 amidst racial tensions.  Further adding to the Civil Rights History lesson, the youth visited the nearby Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The final stop of the day took place at the University of Alabama’s football complex where dinner and a speaking program were provided.

“At Stand™ for Children, making sure every child has access to a quality education that prepares them for college and life is our top priority,” said Dana Henry, New Orleans Director, Stand™ for Children. “The Civil Rights Trip provided an excellent hands-on, historical lesson for our students to experience and one that should help them not only develop a deep understanding and appreciation of the past, but also recognize the tremendous progress and opportunities they now have as a result.  Getting a quality education will be the key that unlocks all of those opportunities for our New Orleans youth.”

Laura Brookhart

Laura Brookhart

Laura Brookhart

Laura Brookhart

Laura Brookhart

Laura Brookhart

Laura Brookhart

Enjoy additional photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.762431090484168.1073741885.106679302726020&type=3&uploaded=71

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