On Saturday, August 25, over 50 first-year Honors Program students along with members of the Honors Student Executive Board and an invested group of faculty and staff traveled to Montgomery, Alabama for a retreat. This experience served as an extension of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy and Octavia Butler’s Kindred, two books featured on the Program’s summer reading list. Drawing on these two works, we inquired into history’s claim on our witness to the accounts of racial terrorism presented at both The National Memorial for Peace and Justice museum as well as the monument. Thus, we seriously considered Dana’s assessment of being called into the past when, as Butler writes, Dana offers: “This is a crazy thing that’s happened to us. But I’m telling you the truth. We come from a future time and place.” While in Montgomery, we thought about, journaled about, and talked about what it meant to be from a future that our ancestors were so violently denied.
As you can imagine, our time in Montgomery was much too short. We will continue processing our witness through First-Year Experience and at least two Honors Program forums. Please follow our montgomery2018.wordpress.com/ to virtually come along on this journey.