'Education on Wheels'
Inauguration Trip

Original Website

Student Blog

Ten JMC School media students from diverse
Bay Area community cultures went on a unique
cross country fact-finding assignment in 2009
to learn and report important cultural
and timely historical perspectives.

Driving in a van, they stopped at the most powerful
landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement in the South,
and filed online reports as they traveled to to
the inauguration of the first African-American
President of the United States of America.

CNN interviewed them live, and broadcast daily
updates on the student journey on their
international television news

Student produced

Behind the scenes
during the trip.


We invite President Obama to visit us at San Jose State University during his term in office.

2009 project developed and coordinated by Dr. Michael Cheers (seen below), and Prof. Bob Rucker

Student thoughts and insights at the outset of this unique diversity learning experience:

Angela Hughes

Filipino & Black

May, 2009


"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,
and Italian

May, 2009

"My grandfather was a WWII veteran and he told me stories of how
he saw blacks being treated terribly when he lived in
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

"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 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."

Produced a
about this

Justin Allegri

Spanish & Sign Language

Radio/TV Dept.
Graduation: May, 2010

Earned JMC School
Mass Comm.
Masters degree 2014



"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
May, 2010

"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


December, 2009

"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



May, 2009


"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 (the voter initiative that originally banned gay marriage in California)."

Nick Dovedot

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

Public Relations
Graduation: 2010

" 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 registration
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

May, 2009

"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."


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