Well that’s a wrap! After 10 days, 4 states, 5 speakers, hundreds of students, and thousands of miles, the Destination Diversity tour has officially come to a close. I’ve had the best time meeting students all up and down the East Coast, hearing from some inspiring speakers about civil rights history, and being able to share my adventures with our Civil Rights Digital class in Florida and New York using Cisco TelePresence.

After our slight bump in the road on the way from Washington, DC to Greensboro, NC, the rest of the road trip went much more smoothly. The bus arrived safely at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia. The guest speaker for that day’s class was Ms. Barbara A. Harrison, the King Center’s Director of External Partnerships. She worked with Coretta Scott King for over thirty years, so you can image how much history she had to share with our students!

Barbara Harrison speaking to students via the bus’s TelePresence system
Barbara Harrison speaking to students via the bus’s TelePresence system

Next stop: Tampa, Florida! It was a long drive – 12 hours – but totally worth it. The bus arrived in Florida right on schedule, giving Jefferson High School’s 1,700+ students a chance to check out the Civil Rights Museum on Wheels.

Hillsborough students pose outside the bus.

Our class that day featured one of my favorite guest speakers yet, Mr. Clarence Fort. When he was just a teenager, he refused to give up his seat at segregated lunch counters in Tampa. Later in life he would become a respected county law enforcement officer. Talk about an inspiring story!

Clarence Fort speaking in Tampa, Florida.
Clarence Fort speaking in Tampa, Florida.

I had the best time on the trip, and I think the students did too. They were able to learn so much more about the civil rights movement through both the speakers and the bus itself, and I was able to showcase just how amazing technology can be as an educational tool. Special thanks to everyone who helped make the tour possible, and everyone else who was part of Destination Diversity at any stop along the way!

Me and Ivy, from Hillsborough schools.

While we did make it successfully to Florida, our journey has only just begun. So like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and be sure to check out our website to continue to follow along. See you soon!


Van Henri White

School Board President

Rochester City School District