Hello from the open road! The Civil Rights Museum on Wheels and I are currently en route to Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been an exciting trip so far – here’s what we’ve been up to:

Day 1:

Me, Van, at the first stop — Washington, DC!

The bus and I arrived at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC on Wednesday. Our special guests were three attorneys from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, who joined me on the bus for our Digital Civil Rights class. Students from Hillsborough and Rochester joined via TelePresence for a lively discussion on what civil rights mean in today’s world.

Attorneys from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights speaking to students.

Day 2:

Day two of our journey began with a “detour” – not a bad one though. Folks were so impressed with the Destination Diversity tour that they asked us to share it with students and staff at a local DC public high school. So off we went to McKinley Technology STEM Campus for a great visit!

The Destination Diversity bus parked outside of McKinley Technology STEM Campus.

Shortly after we left, we were confronted with another kind of detour – this one not so good. The bus wouldn’t start!

Thank goodness I found some friends who helped me get the bus up and running and on its way again.

The bus had some mechanical difficulties along the way.

Day 3:

On Day three, we encountered yet another problem. The 55-inch TelePresence monitor wasn’t on the bus any longer as my road partner, Pat Monaghan, had taken the monitor to Greensboro to get it set up in advance. So there I was, stuck in D.C. without any means to participate in the conversation. But then I remembered a recent conversation that I had with someone from Cisco about the WebEx smart phone app, so I decided to give it a try. It worked like a charm. Within minutes of downloading the app I was able to participate in a three-way conversation, video and all, with the students from New York and Florida.

Students in Rochester listening to the DC speakers.
Students in Rochester listening to the DC speakers.

You know we could have just as easily called this experience “Destination Digital” rather than Destination Diversity. Seriously – perhaps more than anything else, this most recent experience has convinced me that next-generation technology is the key to our children’s educational success. Perhaps as a result of Destination Diversity we’ll convince others of the importance of this type of learning. In fact, Education Week just featured a story about our journey in search of diversity and digital excellence.

Our next stop is the King Center in Atlanta, where we’ll talk to civil rights activist Clarence Ford. If you’d like to join our class, you can! It will take place at 10:30 AM EDT on Tuesday, April 12, and you can follow along on the livestream right here. After that, I’ll be taking the bus to its last stop – Florida! There, I’ll be able to meet the Hillsborough students in person, and they’ll get a chance to see the Civil Rights Museum on Wheels with their own eyes. Hopefully there won’t be any detours along the way!

I’ll be back with a post to wrap up the Destination Diversity tour next week, but in the meantime, follow along with @RCSDDigiClassrm and #DestinationDiversity on Twitter and Destination Diversity on Facebook for more updates from the road!


Van Henri White

School Board President

Rochester City School District