Students to make civil rights ‘pilgrimage’ with Lee

Two local high school students will accompany Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, to Alabama for the Faith & Politics 9th Annual Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage this weekend.

The annual pilgrimage to Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery, hosted by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., aims to give lawmakers a sense of the Civil Rights Movement era, letting them explore the sacrifices made and consider how to advance civil-rights causes today. Several dozen members of Congress are expected to attend this year’s event.

Eric Fuller, a senior at the East Oakland School of the Arts at Castlemont High School, and Gerardo Cuevas, a sophomore at Emery Secondary School, will join Lee on the trip as other students have in past years. Lee said the event “assists in translating this country’s civil rights history,” and it’s “important that future generations gain a greater understanding of the Civil Rights Movement and how it helped to shape our country.”

The students are making the trip through the Oakland-based Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, which prepares Bay Area youth to be leaders in nonviolence, social change, racial and economic justice and world peace. Lee is the center’s founding chair, and center staffer Karen Bohlke will make the pilgrimage trip as well.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.