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 Saint Francis House Pet Care Clinic provides free non-emergency health care for pets of economically troubled owners four times a month. In the colder months, they give out cold weather clothes and blankets because homeless shelters do not allow animals unless they are service animals.
Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida Inc., is furthering its year-round fight against food insecurity for youth by providing food during the winter holidays to students who mainly rely on meals during school hours.
Gainesville Post Office participates in the Santa Operation program for the first time. The program started receiving letters from across the country starting Dec. 2, and it will match the benefactors until Monday.
The Angel Tree Charity Project helps make sure struggling migrant families have a normal Christmas. Hundreds of families are helped with the charity project.
The 1,000-plus acres of diverse land west of Newnans Lake in Gainesville will provide bicycle and hiking trails for the public in spring 2015.