Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

Roots to Rights

Join Jewish Life at Duke and the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture to explore key historical sites of the southern Civil Rights Movement, examine the history of the Movement from various perspectives and disciplines, and current issues surrounding the roots the Civil Rights Movement in the United States in relation to Black / Jewish Identity Development.

Embark on an adventure!

Travel throughout the southern United States and explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Starting in Downtown Durham, home of "Black Wall Street" and the Beth El Synagogue, discover Durham's connection to the National Civil Rights Movement.

Journey to Greensboro and discover the flame that flickered and drove 4 undergraduate students from NC A&T to spark a movement that shaped the country and the world through peaceful sit-ins.

Voyage to Atlanta, GA and fill yourself with the passion and the emotion that once filled the streets of Sweet Auburn Avenue. Uncover the incidents of the Hebrew temple bombings and explore why these locations were targets of attack and the resiliency of the movement to persevere through ongoing threats. Visit the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth. Find yourself in the city that pioneered such organizations as the NAACP, the ABJC, the SCLC, and the SNCC.  Learn what brought Blacks and Jews together in this historic time and the challenges the communities faced.

Roots to Rights, a Black-Jewish tour of the Civil Rights Movement, is sure to keep your curiosity peeked around each turn. This year's edition will focus on the South and investigate key locations in 6 states that wrote their way into the history books.


Sample itinerary attached.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sponsored by:
Jewish Life at Duke and the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

To apply for the 2018 Roots to Rights trip, please complete the attached application.

Funding provided by:
The division of Student Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

For more information email


Respect your roots.