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.
University Park Neighborhood residents and other community members are urging the Gainesville City Commission to keep 8th Avenue as a two-lane road for safety reasons.
The Alachua County Energy Management team will be upgrading lights in all county-owned building parking lots to light-emitting diode (LED). The county estimates the new update will save the county a total of $10,000 annually on electricity bills.
The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office came before the board of commissioners to request additional funds at the Alachua County Commission meeting Tuesday. The Sheriff’s Office asked for $970,000 for replacement vehicles and a 3 percent salary increase for servicemen and women. A motion to allocate $500,000 was passed 4-1.
The S Main Street northbound lane closed on Nov. 10 for construction at its intersection with Depot Avenue. The construction proved to be an inconvenience for motorists, business owners and residents alike.
Gainesville High School received a bomb threat and subsequently evacuated all students and staff to a nearby Planet Fitness parking lot on Wednesday. GHS received two additional, identical threats Thursday morning, but the school has not been evacuated.