Professor Josh Miller Leading Trip to Understand Civil Rights Movement

Smith College School for Social Work professor Josh Miller, M.S.W., Ph.D., will lead “On the Road to Freedom: Understanding the Civil Rights Movement” from March 10-17, 2019.

The trip, organized by Smith Travel, will take participants to visit important civil rights sites throughout Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama, including Little Rock High School, the 16th Street Baptist Church, the National Historic Trail and the Civil Rights Museum, among others. At each site participants will spend time listening and learning from individuals who were part of the movement, including one of the Little Rock Nine, a 16th Street Baptist Church bombing survivor, the Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKinstry, and more.

“My role on the trip is really to contextualize what participants are seeing and help them to process it. It’s quite a moving and emotional thing to be able to do given my commitment to anti-racism and my own engagement in the civil rights movement,” said Miller.

“Going on this trip now accentuates for me the importance of the heroic struggle that took place in the sites we are visiting and how the struggle is still very salient to the future of this country. We have to not only honor the people of the past but step up in the present.”

Miller has been actively involved with anti-racism work for more than 40 years both at Smith College and in his prior social work career, as well as in his personal life. In addition to his involvement with the SSW Anti-Racism Consultation Committee, Miller has taught the anti-racism course and co-written two editions of a book on anti-racism (with Ann Marie Garran).

“My work now is writing about racism, teaching about it, and consulting with organizations, such as schools,” said Miller. “I try to look at racism in a holistic way—the history of racism in this country, the way racism is conceptualized, how it manifests in many forms, institutionally, between groups, interpersonally…the interactions between people, and how it is internalized by everyone, which certainly includes white people. It’s not enough to just know our history, it’s important to see that everyone has a vested interest in taking action.”

Individuals interested in participating in the trip can learn more on the Smith Travel website.