Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center

East Bay youth honored as speakers of Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Tennessee and Alabama, March 1-4, 2018



Media Contact:

Dr. Karen Bohlke

Government and External Relations

Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center

206-755-3677 or 510-610-5446 |

East Bay youth honored as speakers of Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Tennessee and Alabama, March 1-4, 2018

Oakland, CA— The Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center staff and youth to travel as delegates and guest speakers for the Faith and Politics Institute Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage, March 1-4, 2018.

The Pilgrimage delegation consisting of 29 bi-cameral, bi-partisan Members of Congress travels to Memphis, Tennessee, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama, visiting pivotal sites in our nation’s Civil Rights history. California’s Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) to represent California.

The Freedom Center delegates will make speeches, present on panels, and orchestrate reflection circles with the congressional delegates throughout the pilgrimage.

The Freedom Center delegates include Angela Drake, Castlemont High School, Oakland School District; David Gaines and Charlotte Potes, Alameda Science and Technology Institute, Alameda School District; Katie Trieu of Kipp King Collegiate High School, San Lorenzo Unified School District; Laelah Jackson, Berkeley High school, Berkeley Unified School District, Maira Perez Velasquez, 2017 graduate of Mills College; Director of Government Relations, Dr. Karen Bohlke; and Executive Director Dr. Roy Wilson.

The Freedom Center delegation are guests of Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), who as a regular participant on the Civil Rights Pilgrimages, is the only U.S. Member of Congress who consistently takes young people from her district as guests.

The Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage aims to expose Members of Congress to epochs shaping our nation’s polity, where luminaries, historians, and first-hand testimonies offer an environment for calling forth of courage, conscience, and compassion. The theme of the 2018 pilgrimage uplifts intergenerational reflections on community, respect, personal commitment, and nonviolence.

This year’s pilgrimage is hosted by the Honorable Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), with Civil Rights luminary and Pilgrimage Chair, Rep John Lewis (D-GA).

The delegation will visit the National Civil Rights Museum and the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Birmingham’s Civil Rights Institute, and 16th Street Baptist Church, in Montgomery the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Memorial, Rosa Parks Museum, and Sothern Poverty Law Center. The delegation concludes the pilgrimage in Selma, with a program at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church, and walking across the Edmund Pettis Bridge.

For interviews or photo opportunities, please contact Dr. Karen Bohlke, Director of Government and External Relations, 510-434-3988 or 206-755-3677.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center promotes the principles of nonviolence and offers an environment where young people actively seek peaceful, nonviolent solutions to the difficult challenges we face in our communities. Located on the Merritt College Campus and in collaboration with the Peralta Community College District, the Freedom Center serves individuals, organizations, schools and communities in the Greater Bay Area. For more details, visit

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