Park Scholars and the March on Washington

By Steven Brasley, '14

Several Park Scholars will be participating in an exciting new service project from March 28-31. Collaborating with journalism Professor James Rada, these 13 students will be traveling to Washington, D.C., to help film a documentary on the March on Washington.

The students will be interviewing people who took part in the historic August 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Rada says that having college students conduct the interviews is significant by passing the message of civil rights from one generation to another.

“Many of those who participated in The March on Washington, and the Civil Rights Movement, were in college back then,” he said. “So I definitely wanted to try to find a way to include current college students in the project.”

Rada said he wanted to get in touch with an established organization to help him with the documentary. The Park Scholars came to his attention after one of his students, Park Scholar Kristin Leffler, ’14, mentioned the program to him.

“[Leffler] said [the March on Washington project] sounded perfect for the Park Scholars,” Rada said. “I pitched it to Matt Fee and he agreed!”

Outside of the interviews with March on Washington participants, the Park Scholars will make stops at locations in Washington that are of great importance to the Civil Rights Movement, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Civil Rights exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

After several planning meetings, Rada appeared very enthusiastic toward the March on Washington project and expects it to continue with new groups of Park Scholars each semester.

“I’m . . . interested in seeing them participate and then hearing what they thought about, and got from, the experience,” he said.

During their trip to Washington DC, the scholars will be creating their own blog for the website. Check back in a week to see what they're up to in our nation's capital!


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