Educators nationwide arrive in Alabama to witness civil rights history first-hand

Three-week, immersive experience is presented by the NEH and the Alabama Humanities Alliance.

Birmingham, AL | July 11, 2022

History Teacher Education
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July 11, 2022 — The Alabama Humanities Alliance welcomes educators from across the country to participate in an immersive, three-week field study of the modern Civil Rights Movement. “Stony the Road We Trod: Exploring Alabama’s Civil Rights Legacy” is a teaching institute presented by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alabama Humanities Alliance.

The program, which runs July 10-30, will enable teachers to learn how events in Alabama impacted not just the South and the nation, but the world. Birmingham will serve as the host city for the institute, with field research taking place in Selma, Montgomery and Tuskegee — all key “battleground” sites in the struggle for human and civil rights.

In all, the Alabama Humanities Alliance selected 27 educators from 17 states to participate, via a competitive, nationwide application process.

WHAT: Stony the Road We Trod: Exploring Alabama’s Civil Rights Legacy. (A National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute, presented by the Alabama Humanities Alliance.)

WHERE: Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, Tuskegee

WHEN: July 10-30, 2022

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: In-person coverage of certain sessions and field research is possible with advance notice. We can also help set up interviews with the project director, AHA staff, and teacher participants. Note that photography may be limited in certain facilities we visit.


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The project director is Martha Bouyer, Ph.D., an Alabama Humanities Fellow. Among the institute’s speakers: Ruby Shuttlesworth Bester, Joanne Bland, Robert Corley, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Bernard Lafayette, Bishop Calvin Woods, Odessa Woolfolk, and many more.

The ultimate goal of Stony the Road is to equip teachers with first-hand experiences and primary resources that they can use to bring the civil rights era to life in their classrooms and schools. Educators will also learn to better engage their students in conversations about that era’s legacy today.

“The power of this experience comes from getting to walk the same ground where these life-altering events took place, where the promises of the U.S. Constitution became a greater reality for more Americans,” says Dr. Martha Bouyer, Ph.D., an Alabama Humanities Fellow and project director for Stony the Road.

Indeed, educators will have the chance to interact with iconic leaders and foot soldiers of the civil right movement and talk with scholars who are experts in the field. They will also travel to key sites of memory and preservation — from Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham to the Tuskegee History Center and beyond. Teachers will also have the chance to review archival film footage and primary sources as they develop new curriculum plans to bring back to their schools.


About the Alabama Humanities
Alliance Founded in 1974, the Alabama Humanities Alliance is a nonprofit that serves as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. AHA promotes impactful storytelling, lifelong learning and civic engagement. We provide Alabamians with opportunities to connect with our shared cultures and to see each other as fully human. Through our grantmaking, we help scholars, communities and cultural nonprofits create humanities-based projects that are accessible to all Alabamians — from literary festivals and documentary films to museum exhibitions and research collections. Learn more at

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at