The Birmingham Jewish Community Relations Committee has confirmed additional details of its March 29 “Alabama Possible: A Journey to the Black Belt.”

The day trip, organized in cooperation with the Alabama Poverty Project and You Belong In Birmingham, will be a day devoted to going into the heart of the Black Belt to learn, discuss, and witness firsthand the plight of those who live in abject poverty in Alabama. It is part of the JCRC’s focus this year on poverty.

The JCRC was one of five nationally to receive a micro-grant from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs to offer this unique program. In addition, the Frank and Fred Friedman Family Foundation Fund of the Birmingham Jewish Foundation will also help underwrite the cost of this program.

Participants will board a chartered bus from the Levite Jewish Community Center at 10:30 am with the first stop being Marion, in Perry County, one of America’s poorest counties. In Marion, the group will be guided by a member of the tourist board, lunch with community members and learn about the Civil Rights Movement from a panel of historians from Judson College, foot soldiers from the Movement and board members of Sowing the Seeds of Hope, a partnership between the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the people of Perry County.

From Marion the group will travel to Camden, home of the Black Belt Treasures Shop and the famous quilters of Gee’s Bend. The group will be guests at a special opening of the Treasures Shop, a non-profit organization developed to promote the arts of the Black Belt, and stimulate the economy of the region. There, they will talk with local artists and learn more about the history and crafts of the region.

The bus ride itself will include films on the history of Marion during the Movement and a documentary on the Gee’s Bend quilters. Josh Segall will serve as the moderator on the bus, generating ideas and facilitating discussion.

The BJF is currently accepting reservations for this unique experience. Space is limited and priority will be given to young adults currently involved in You Belong in Birmingham.

For more information and to reserve a spot contact Caren Seligman at carens@bjf.org or Joyce Spielberger at joyces@bjf.org.

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