Skip to main content

Students invited to retrace 1961 Freedom Riders route


December 10, 2010

In 1961, 436 Americans boarded buses to test and challenge segregated travel facilities in the Deep South.  It was a simple but daring plan, and it changed America forever. The Freedom Riders were black and white, Northern and Southern, secular and religious, old and young.

This May, 40 college students from across the country will have the distinct opportunity to join original Freedom Riders in retracing the Rides, and beginning a conversation about the state of civic engagement today. What does it mean today? What has changed since 1961?

Accepted students will participate at no cost to them. All transportation, hotel and food expenses are covered by American Experience. The Ride is scheduled for May 6-16, 2011 from Washington, D.C., to Jackson, Miss.

Through live blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, the students on the bus will be able to share their experiences, and, in a sense, bring others along on their journey.

Application deadline: Jan. 17, 2011. Apply now at http://www.pbs.org/freedomriders. Decisions announced: Feb. 2011.

About Eight, Arizona PBS
Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture — utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961.  Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems.  With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country.  Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station’s annual budget. For more information, visit www.azpbs.org. Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.