Most Queens College students were not in class from Jan. 17 to 21. Moreover, some were on vacation, working or, in the case of some, in Atlanta, Georgia.
A documentary, titled “In the Footsteps of Dr. King,” highlighted the five-day trip, at Campbell Dome on Feb. 24.
The annual trip, now in its second year, sends students to the city to learn more about civil rights, activism and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Moshe Shur, senior associate at the Center for Jewish Studies and director of the film, is familiar with King’s work. He worked with King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the 1960s.
The trip, said Shur, provided lessons for students about justice and fairness.
“This is an experimental education program,” Shur said. “It’s like planting the seeds of social justice in the hearts of the students with hope they will come to bear fruit in their future lives.”
The documentary included videos from the trip. Moreover, students who were on the trip spoke about their experiences and opinions about the civil rights movement.
Christopher Labial, a senior and president of Student Association, attended the trip. SA sponsored a majority of the program, while Councilmember Rory Lancman, a Democrat, funded part of it too.
“I thought the trip would be beneficial to my knowledge of social movements,” Labial said. “I met a lot of people with first-hand experiences of the civil rights movement, and unity among people is possible.”
The history of King at QC goes back many years. On May 13, 1965, he spoke at QC as part of the John F. Kennedy Lecture Series and focused on non-violence, poverty and discrimination.
Nigel Barker, a junior and president of the National Association of Black Accountants, attended as well. He recommended students join it next year as it was educational.
“I learned a lot about the civil rights movement, and I encourage people to go next year,” Barker said. “I learned it’s important to take risks, people put their family’s lives at risk to do what they believed in.”