"If not us, then who? If not now, then when?
Will someone else's children have to risk their lives instead of us risking ours?"
Freedom Rider John Lewis

  2016 MCHR Freedom Tour

Photos by Valerie Blakely, mentor on 2016 Freedom Tour

Your Support for Freedom Tour is Needed!
            by Cait De Mott Grady
     Project Coordinator for MCHR

"Know from whence you came. If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go." - James Baldwin

In just two weeks, 25 metro-Detroit area high school students and 10 adult mentors will kick off the 2016 Freedom Tour! During the 10-day Tour, the group will visit historic Civil Rights Movement landmarks throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee and learn from the leaders, organizers, and visionaries who put their bodies on the line and their feet in the streets in the fight for justice. And we need your support to make it happen!

In keeping with principles of equity and access for all, the Freedom Tour is offered at no cost for students and mentors. The Tour, which costs $1,500 per student, is funded through small-donor contributions from our incredible community. Will you contribute $25, $50, $100, or $1,500 to support the Freedom Tour?   Contribute here on Crowdrise

Today, youth face a myriad of urgent issues - from catastrophic climate change, to attacks on voting rights and corporate money in politics, to crushing student debt and the soaring costs of higher education, to the killing of black and brown youth at the hands of law enforcement. The Freedom Tour is an opportunity for youth to learn the history of the Civil Rights Movement, to delve into the philosophy and practice of nonviolence, to learn the strategy and tactics of organizing, to build intergenerational community and, most importantly, to connect the struggles of that era to today's struggles for justice.

Will you support this transformational journey by making a contribution today?  Contribute here on Crowdrise or go to www.mchr.org

Upon returning to Detroit, Freedom Tour youth and mentors will share about their experiences with family, friends, and broader community in churches, schools, community centers, and at dinner tables. They will continue to connect the dots between the Civil Rights Movement and today's struggles for justice, bringing to bear wisdom gained through the Freedom Tour as they imagine and fight for a more just and equitable world.

The 2016 Freedom Tour will take place in a time when violent events, high-visibility hatemongering and loud intolerance have made civil rights front page news again and the subject of an ongoing and highly-charged national dialogue. In a time when the grassroots #BlackLivesMatter movement has re-booted and energized civil rights activism in the U.S. - primarily through the participation and energy of millions of the country's young people.
The 2016 FT will also take place in the midst of a general election year when the disturbing state of civil rights in America will certainly be an important campaign issue for many national, state and local office seekers.  
Against this context of a nation still deeply divided by racial discrimination, inequality and strife, the Freedom Tour is a refreshing counter-point. It's an opportunity to demonstrate that there are idealistic young people committed to being part of the solution for many human and civil rights challenges.
The Freedom Tour provides a transformative experience for its teenaged participants. Its narrative of modern young people experiencing and learning from the struggle of an earlier generation of activists is a compelling commentary on the times.   Eric Hood, MCHR board member
Quotes from 2016 FT Youth

What do you hope to get from your experience on the FT? .

I hope to gain knowledge and power during the Freedom Tour. I also hope it helps me see life in a an third eye view, so I can understand the world I live in a little better.
 Sylvia Morgan, 16, Cody APL High School

How to act properly in times of crisis, also how to get our point across effectively. - Nour Kazbour, 16, Canton High School

I hope to gain a better understanding of how the (civil rights movement) experience was for everyone. - Ellis Cox, 17, Loyola High School

What current issue do you hope to apply/ take action on from your experience on the tour when you return...

Dealing with problems with or against people. I will take action in this because I believe that problems are just obstacles that keep us from growing.  - Marco Marquez, 15, Cristo Rey Preparatory School

Freedom Tour- A Journey of Discovery
           by longtime MCHR board member and Freedom Tour organizer,
                                Dorothy Aldridge
On MCHR's Freedom Tours, stories and lessons of the modern civil rights movement are emphasized as well as the sites and people of the civil rights movement of the '60s. Courage and problem solving in the reality of harsh adversity and crippling racism are studied. Multicultural and multiracial approaches and working for a more just, humane and inclusive society are planned results. Upon their return Freedom Tour youth will be called upon to share experiences with sponsoring organizations, media, schools, churches, temples, clubs, labor unions and others.
"One must study all, to learn about oneself. This is the great new problem of mankind. We have inherited a large house, a great 'world house' in which we have to live together-black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu - a family separated in ideas, culture and interests, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The MCHR Freedom Tours began the summer of 1989. To date, there have been approximately nine tours. All were unique and important lessons were learned....

Freedom Tour 2013:
A Perspective
Amanda Onwenu

"In 2013 I had the amazing opportunity of attending the Freedom Tour and it was an experience that changed my life for the better. I was at first hesitant about going on the Tour because at the time I was just an unaware teen that didn't realize how important my history really was. It took me a while to come to the decision until I finally decided, "Hey, maybe the tour wouldn't be so bad after all." To my surprise it was one of the best things that could've ever happened to me.
On the tour I learned so much about my history that I never before had even heard of. In school, textbooks only teach about Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks, and a little bit of Malcolm X. But on the tour I learned about influential people who devoted their lives to the fight for Civil Rights such as Viola Liuzzo, James Chaney, Medgar Evers, Diane Nash, and many, many more people.
On the tour I also got the chance to go through a nonviolence training program which is still beneficial to me today. It's been three years since the tour and I am now a sophomore in college at the University of Michigan. At my school, my race is only 4.2% of the population and it is filled with people of many different places. Some of those places in which racism is just as prevalent as it was in the 1950's, which means that there are times where I have to put to use those nonviolence training skills I gained during the freedom tour in order to avoid conflict with other students who feel they have the need to voice their racist comments. Due to situations like these I joined an organization at my school called Black Uplift. And don't let the name steer you away, because we are welcoming to everyone not matter the color of your skin. But we do focus on uplifting the members of the black community, due to it being so little of us, in order to make our years in college easier and comfortable.... GO TO LINK:

  Freedom Tour 2013 Amanda Onwenu
Promotional Video of the Freedom Tour
Hear from the youth who took the 2013 Tour!
Video by Bob Ingalls, MCHR board member
Donate Today
Help Send a Youth on the Tour

Support the trip by making a donation to MCHR. It will cost MCHR at least $1,500 per student and we are committed to making it affordable for all students who want to participate.
Sponsoring a youth is a great way to invest in that youth's future, plant the seeds of peaceful revolution, and give back to your community.
Donate Here
Another Way to Donate and Have Some Fun!

Coming Up:

MCHR Annual Meeting, Thursday, June 16th 7 pm

Fatima Activities Building, 13500 Oak Park Blvd. Oak Park
Abayomi Azikiwe, speaking on 2016 Elections.
MCHR | support@mchr.org | 313 579-9071 | www.mchr.org
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