RTIEL 2014 – 2015 Youth Leadership Trip to Alabama

The 2014 – 2015 RTIEL Essay Contest Winners were honored to join as many as 70,000 other marchers during the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday!

RTIEL Scholars standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge – Bloody Sunday 2015.

For this year’s essay contest, winners wrote a letter to Congressman John Lewis commenting on his participation in the voting rights marches and Bloody Sunday, discussed how Mr. Lewis’ participation in these events has affected them and the citizens of this country, and commented on the significance of re-enacting the Bloody Sunday March on an annual basis.

Congressman John Lewis at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday 2015.

Congressman John Lewis at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday 2015.

Related to the essay contest topic, the Scholars “photo bombed” Congressman Lewis  as he was walking at the foot at the Edmund Pettus Bridge! Two members of the RTIEL delegation were honored to shake Congressman Lewis’ hand!

Winners with JLewis

PHOTO BOMB: RTIEL Scholars taking photo with Congressman John Lewis; Congressman Lewis just didn’t know it!

Scholars were invited by Attorney Cleo Washington to attend the reception of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and were honored to meet Alabama’s Secretary of State, Mr. John Merrill!

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RTIEL Delegation with Alabama Secretary of State, Mr. John Merrill!

The Scholars were blessed to receive tickets to hear President Barack Obama speak at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge! Two RTIEL Scholars were close enough to the President to take pictures and one of the Scholars shook the President’s hand!

President Barack Obama speaking at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge

President Barack Obama speaking at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Photo taken by an RTIEL Scholar after the President's speech.

Photo taken by an RTIEL Scholar after the President’s speech.

The Scholars’ attendance at the Freedom Flame Banquet was sponsored by AT&T. The Scholars were honored to see various dignitaries and honorees, and the ceremony was hosted by Actor Danny Glover, and Mr. Dick Gregory delivered a speech.

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RTIEL Scholars with Dr. Angela Mitchell at the Freedom Flame Banquet

RTIEL Scholars and Dr. Angela Mitchell posing with Journalist Roland Martin

On Bloody Sunday, the RTIEL Delegation joined tens of thousands of other marchers and activists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Bloody Sunday March!

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Marchers on Bloody Sunday 2015

The Scholars also took part in the March festivities; took photos of the actress who played Thelma on Good Times; and took a photo with retired NBA Player, John Salley.

Scholars with retired NBA Player John Salley

The 4th Annual Youth Leadership Trip was a huge success, and on Sunday evening, the Scholars had dinner with Attorney Cleo Washington, a tireless supporter and sponsor of RTIEL!

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Attorney Cleo Washington with RTIEL Scholars

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