In 1961, a group of civil rights activists rode buses from Washington D.C. into the southern states to challenge local laws that enforced segregation. The group was known as the Freedom Riders. In May of 2011, Topeka High graduate Will Dale retraced the route of the original freedom riders. He was one of 40 college students chosen for the bus trip.
Seventh grade students in BJ Mays' class were studying the Freedom Riders, so she invited Dale, a former student, to come share his experiences with her students. He said the bus trip was intended for college students to explore the state of civic engagement today and how civic activism and advocacy had changed since the 1960’s.
Dale is now a student at the University of Kansas majoring in English and American Studies with a concentration in race and ethnicity.