July 28, 2022

Buckeyes get ‘Goosebumps’ Visiting Historic Sites in Alabama

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Student-athletes discuss civil rights during Big Ten trip

Ohio State University News – Earlier this month, student-athletes from the Big Ten traveled to Alabama for a weekend-long trip. Part of the conference’s Big Life Series, the event took place in Selma and Montgomery, the epicenter of the civil rights movement.

The Ohio State University sent five student-athletes: Jaydan Wood (women’s track & field), Donovan Hewitt (men’s gymnastics), Brooke Shields (cheer), Nina LeFlore (women’s soccer) and Zed Key (men’s basketball).

Student-athletes heard from Sheyann Webb-Christburg, author and eyewitness to the Bloody Sunday attack in 1965, as well as Bryan Stevenson, a prominent author and social justice lawyer. They also toured the Civil Rights Memorial Center, the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum, which Stevenson founded.

In addition, the trip included a visit to the First Baptist Church in Selma and a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of Bloody Sunday.

Knowing the trip’s purpose, LeFlore expected an emotional weekend. She was still surprised by just how emotional she was. Although the speakers shared painful stories, she felt inspired by their messages of hope.

“They were really joyful,” she said. “Even when they spoke about their past, and they were emotional, they were joyful, almost hopeful. You can tell that their spirit wasn’t defeated.”

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