ALAMEDA -- Three East Bay high school students -- two from Alameda -- will soon take a journey to the South to touch base with landmarks and cities known for their connection to the civil rights movement.

Meriam Salem, a junior at Alameda Science and Technology Institute, and sophomores Malcolm Jackson of Encinal High School and Erin McGhee of Unity High School in Oakland have been chosen to represent the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center during an annual civil rights pilgrimage. The students will join U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and a bipartisan congressional group of representatives in the 13th annual Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham on March 1-3.

"The minute we get off the plane, we will be in the spotlight," Salem said. "We'll be in Congresswoman Barbara Lee's breathing space, and there will be cameras flashing and Secret Service people."

Salem said the students will attend lectures related to civil rights, and visit such places as the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, the Slavery and Civil War Museum, the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, and other locations where history was made in the fight for civil rights.

The students, who are participants in the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center programs, were selected by their schools based on leadership skills, said center representative Sasha Rabkin. The center works with East Bay middle and high schools to identify emerging leaders with a sense of justice and responsibility, he said.


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FYI
The students are each responsible for raising $1,200 to fund the three-day trip and are seeking donations in any amount before Tuesday. Checks can be made payable to Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center, 333 E. Eighth St., Oakland, CA 94606. Make note in the memo line naming the student the donation is for.
For more information about the center, go to www.mlkfreedomcenter.org or call 510-434-3988.