Alternative Spring Break Trip to Montgomery, Alabama
In March 2015, the Scott Center hosted an alternative spring break service trip to Montogmery, Alabama. Sponsored by the college and generous friends and alumni, the trip gave students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to see Civil Rights landmarks, meet people who had participated in the struggles of the 1960s, and do some direct community service.
Read blog posts from the trip here.
The trip marked the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, which played an important role in confronting the injustices facing African Americans, especially in the South. It occurred between the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 20 Middlebury College students participated in that march, and this trip honors their activism.
The trip included:
- Hands-on community service work with Habitat for Humanity;
- Visits to local historic sites, civil rights organizations and religious institutions, all of which played significant roles in the Civil Rights movement;
- Conversations with guest speakers and among ourselves to deepen our understanding of this important time in American Civil Rights history;
- Exploration of today's civil rights challenges and plans for our own activist responses to them.
On March 31, the Scott Center presented a program called "The Civil Rights Struggle 50 Years Later In Movement and Word: What Was, What Is, and What Should Be." The program included dance pieces choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Christal Brown, and brief personal remarks by Professors Larry Yarbrough, Bill Hart, and J Finley. Middlebury graduates who went to Montgomery in 1965 shared their memories, and students who participated in this year's trip spoke about their experiences.
Click here for a videorecording of the entire March 31 program.
Mary Montgomery Koppel (b. 1982), composer, teacher, and soprano, is a doctoral candidate in composition at Boston University's School of Music, and holds a bachelor's degree from Middlebury College in Vermont and a Diplôme from l'Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris. She has studied composition with Su Lian Tan, Evan Bennett, Michel Merlet, Allen Shawn, Theodore Antoniou, Martin Amlin, Richard Cornell, and Ketty Nez. Before coming to Boston, she taught at Bennington College, where she also founded and conducted a chamber choir. She is a founding member and composer-in-residence of the Lorelei ensemble, a women’s vocal group specializing in new and early music, engaged in commissioning composers from the US, Canada, and Europe. She currently teaches theory and composition at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts as well as at Boston University. Her works have been played by the Boston University Symphony Orchestra, ALEA III, and various chamber ensembles in Paris, Vermont, and Boston. Current projects include an opera set in WWII-era Hong Kong.