Evelyn Foxx addresses the group before they depart for Washington, D.C.
Cynthia Chestnut bows her head during a group prayer before the bus departs.
Nancy Jones was born into white privilege.
She remembers the time in America when bathrooms were segregated, people were suppressed with high-pressured hoses and dogs were weapons of oppression.
Even though that was six decades ago, Jones, 50, said she still sees instances of racial injustice.
“When I was born, one of the first things that I learned is God created us all equal, and the Constitution that I learned said the same thing, and I haven’t seen that play out,” Jones said. “So I want to see that play out in my lifetime; I hope I can.”
The Alachua County branch of the NAACP organized the trip, said Cynthia Chestnut, the organization’s community outreach coordinator.
At around 3 p.m. Friday, the group left on the 10-hour-long journey in a charter bus from the Walmart on Waldo Road. They expect to arrive back in Gainesville Sunday night, Chestnut said.
Jones said she is looking forward to hearing what people less privileged than she have to say so she can better understand and help them.
Tim Roberts, a 49-year-old Gainesville resident, has seen how far America has progressed, but said there are still improvements to make.
Roberts said the commemoration serves as a benchmark to judge the progression of Civil Rights and is important in continuing the protection of American rights.
“It’s a way of making my voice heard along with everyone else who deeply cares about those issues,” he said.
Hear the voices of those taking the trip in the audio clips below.
The Gainesville Girls Rock Camp uses music to empower young girls and teens. Girls gain self-confidence throughout the program and learn to encourage each another.
The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department has found unsafe levels of bacteria in Hogtown Creek waters.
Update 7/27/2015 at 7:15 p.m.: The suspect has been identified as Earl Jackson, according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.
A memorial for Josh Greenberg, the co-founder of music streaming service Grooveshark, was held Friday evening at the Phillips Center. He was found dead in his home July 19.
Adoabi Ugochukwu, 22, was diagnosed with lupus at 15 years old. Now, she’s planning on starting a support group in Gainesville for lupus patients.