The School of Journalism & Mass Communications at San Jose State University sent ten media students from diverse Bay
Area community cultures on a fact-finding and reporting assignment driving through the historic landmarks of the Civil Rights
South on their way to the 2009 Inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States of America.


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  "EDUCATION ON WHEELS" Project, 2009              


Angela Hughes

Filipino & Black

Graduation: May, 2009


My Civil Rights Understanding:
"The civil rights movement of the 1960s was the driving force behind
change in our country in terms of rights for African Americans, Women
and Worker's rights. Today, I don't feel that there are any civil rights issues
today. I think that the struggle lies within the mindset of many people.
The stereotypes and prejudices that many of us have, have triggered
the discrimination of not only ethnic groups but of religious groups and
people with certain lifestyles."


Bianca DeCastro

Multi-ethnic: Spanish/Filipino  Japanese/Hawaiian/Italian

Magazine Journalism
Graduation: May, 2009


My Civil Rights Understanding:
"My grandfather was a WWII veteran and he told me stories of how he saw blacks
 being treated terribly when he lived in Mississippi for training camp.  During that
time blacks were not able to vote and segregation still prevailed.
 It is my opinion the election of the first black president is a great victory for many races and cultures; however, I do believe that this is truly a victory for African Americans.  The Civil Rights Movement cultivated great leaders like Dr. King and
led to the eventual annihilation of Jim Crow laws, the passage of the
civil rights and voting acts." 

Carlos Moreno

Mexican-American and
mixed Spanish Heritage

English & Spanish fluent

Graduation: December, 2009

My Civil Rights Understanding:
"The Civil Rights movement was a turbulent time for all races,
especially African-Americans in the South. The movement was brought center
stage when men like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. lead the way in
defining race relations and equality for the black man.
Cesar Chavez was also another activist who sought respect and equality for
hired hands in the fields. What does all this have to do with the
Inauguration?  EVERYTHING.
These men are stepping stones of why people like me were able to vote
for president that reflects the true America of today."


Black, Creole and Greek

Radio/TV Journalism
Graduation: December, 2009


My Civil Rights Understanding:
"My knowledge of the horrors that happened in the south is not limited and my
feelings towards them are hostile and angry ones.  In my family, as children we
are often told of the many people who sacrificed in our family generations
before us.  We are often told of the horrors of the south, and how while they might seem tame, they are far from dead and gone.  Stories of Emmit Till and Medger
Evers, are often stories that come to mind when I think of civil rights. I even think
of Ernie Davis, who won the Heisman Trophy and was the first
African American
to do so during the time of all the civil rights  movement."


Justin Allegri


Spanish & Sign Language

Radio/TV Journalism
Graduation: May, 2010


My Civil Rights Understanding:
"There was a race of people who for hundreds of years took beatings and were given orders and then finally they said that is enough. No moment in history can compare to that. As for the historic dates, the Supreme Court ruling that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional, that was Brown vs. The Board of Education in Kansas. Rosa Parks made her stand on the bus in Alabama. She was told to move to the back of the bus with the other African Americans but she refused. There was the murder
of a young African boy for commenting on the way a white woman looked. Police
use fire hoses and police dogs to attack  demonstrators in Alabama."




Public Relations
Graduation: May, 2010

My Civil Rights Understanding:
" I think I was about four years old when my mother gave me little bits of the
history of 'our people.' In high school, I wrote an article for the school newspaper
(in Sacramento) about the 50th anniversary of Brown V. Board of Education...
I have written term papers on the N word, and also the CRM, as a timeline of key events, starting from the beginning of Jim Crow, and ending in 1968, with Smith/Carlos' protest, and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I did not fail to highlight some events that are not as 'popular' as those, including the Little Rock Nine, Woolworth sit-in's in Greensboro, James Meredith's admission to Ole Miss. People UNITED and FOUGHT for a CHANGE and did not give up in the
quest for the 'promised land.' "



& Costa Rican.

Spanish & French
Language Skills

Graduation: December, 2009

My Civil Rights Understanding:
" ...Martin Luther King Jr. Whenever I hear his voice and ideas...he has all the qualities a great leader should have: intelligence, integrity, perseverance, courage, and humility.  I look at the Civil Rights Movement from the view of the common man. There were so many people who had the courage to stand up for what is right in a time of tension and injustice. From those who marched from Selma, not once but three times, to the individuals who boycotted the buses in Montgomery. The mother
of Emmett Till did something that most mother's would not have done if their son
was killed in such a tragic way. She insisted that the photograph be published so that others could see the atrocity that her son suffered."


Justin Perry


Radio/TV Journalism
Graduation: May, 2009


My Civil Rights Understanding:
"I have a strong understanding of Lincoln Emancipating the slaves in 1863, to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 being passed enabling African Americans to legally vote,
to Barack Obama becoming the 44th President, bringing us one step closer to racial equality in this nation. I take great pride in the history of my people and all the accomplishments we've contributed to this nation from inventions as small as John Love's pencil sharpener to inventions like Garrett Morgan's traffic light. I believe that we have come a very long way, but we still have a ways to go. Women do not always have equal rights as men in the corporate workplace and homosexuals aren't getting their equal rights, proven most recently with the passing of Proposition 8."


Nick Dovedot

My ethnicity:
German, French, Polish,
Austrian, Irish, & English

Public Relations
Graduation: 2010

My Civil Rights Understanding:

" I am knowledgeable about the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr.,
Rosa Parks
, the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, President Eisenhower, the Little Rock Nine, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the organizing of voter
in the South, John F. Kennedy and his administration, and the Poor People's Campaign.  This information connects with the inauguration because, specifically, the 2008 Election was a stepping stone for voter registration and voters showing up to cast their votes and voice, just as was tried for in the South
 during the Civil Rights Movement. "



Black, Mexican, Spanish
Portuguese &
Native American

Graduation: May, 2009

My Civil Rights Understanding:
It may have originated in the South in the 1960's, however the movement
continues to thrive today, as people in America are still fighting for justice and
equal rights. Although we have come a long way from the days of the Greensboro student sit-ins, the water hoses and the dogs who attacked children in Kelly Ingram Park, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and "Bloody Sunday" during the march from Selma to Montgomery to gain voting rights, we as a nation still have a great deal of work to do. The leaders of the 1960's Civil Rights Movement may have set the foundation, but the torch has been passed to the leaders of today to
make their impression on history.

These not for profit educational web pages were produced by SJSU Journalism Professor Bob Rucker,
co-organizer of the SJSU "Education on Wheels" effort to send media students to the Inauguration. The goal of this educational project is to provide all students
 with a better appreciation of the thinking, efforts and struggles of the civil rights movement which helped pave the way for this special moment in American history.


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