Minnesota Humanities Center

Alabama Civil Rights Field Study

Join Us for a Transformative Journey through Civil Rights History

Minnesota Humanities Center Presents: The Alabama Civil Rights Field Study

August 4-10, 2024 | Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery, and Tuskegee, Alabama 

Registration for this offering is closed.


Eden Bart

Sung Ja Shin

About the Alabama Civil Rights Field Study

The Alabama Civil Rights Field Study offers a profound, seven-day, six-night exploration into the heart of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. This immersive experience is designed for educators who seek to deepen their understanding of the pivotal role that civil rights advocates and allies played in Alabama to work toward ensuring the inalienable, human, and civil rights of Americans were afforded to all people in the United States. Journey through key historical sites in Birmingham, Selma, and Montgomery, and witness firsthand the landmarks of courage and struggle that changed our nation.

Using a combination of lectures, first-hand accounts from history makers, travel, and primary and secondary source documents, educators will examine how the political, social, economic, and cultural institutions of the United States of America were changed as a result of the events that took place in Alabama.

Field Study Highlights


Begin your journey in the city where the Civil Rights Movement ignited significant change. Visit the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Kelly Ingram Park, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Hear from foot soldiers like Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKinstry and Mrs. Janice Kelsey about their personal experiences and the impact of the movement.


Walk in the footsteps of history on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where activists fought for voting rights. Explore the Lowndes County Interpretive Center and meet with civil rights leader Joanne Bland.


Visit the Rosa Parks Museum, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, and other historic sites. Reflect on the profound speeches and events that propelled the Civil Rights Movement forward.


Discover the legacy of Tuskegee University, the Tuskegee Airmen, and significant Supreme Court cases that shaped civil rights law.

Educator Experience

Educators will:

  • engage in stimulating lectures presented by noted scholars;
  • learn from master teachers who will model and present instructional strategies designed to keep students interested, involved, and motivated;
  • participate in discussion groups;
  • meet Movement leaders and foot soldiers;
  • examine works of art, literature, and music; and
  • travel to landmark sites dedicated to the preservation of the history and accomplishments of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.
Draft Itinerary

Download a copy of the draft itinerary for the Field Study. Itinerary subject to change.

Field Study Leaders

This field study will be led by Dr. Martha V. Bouyer, Out of the Box Tours, and master teacher Bonnie Belshe.

Scholar Bios

Dr. Martha V. Bouyer

Dr. Martha V. Bouyer is an educational leader and civil rights advocate known for her work in promoting civil rights history and education. She is the Executive Director of the Historic Bethel Baptist Church Community Restoration Fund in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Bouyer is particularly recognized for her efforts in civil rights tourism, helping to develop and lead educational tours that focus on the Civil Rights Movement and its significant events and locations, especially in Birmingham. Her work often involves engaging educators and students with the history of the movement to ensure its lessons are preserved and taught to future generations.

Bonnie Belshe

Bonnie Belshe is a social studies teacher at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California. She is recognized for her contributions to education, particularly in the realm of history and social studies. Belshe has earned accolades for her innovative teaching methods and dedication to engaging students in historical inquiry and critical thinking. Her approach often involves incorporating diverse perspectives and interactive learning experiences to make history more accessible and relevant to her students. Belshe’s commitment to education and her ability to inspire students have made her a notable figure in the field of teaching.


The Alabama Civil Rights Field Study is available for $2146 per person; airfare not included.

More Details

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Fee Waiver and Stipend

The Alabama Civil Rights Field Study (valued at $2146 per person) is available at no cost for Minneapolis Public Schools educators and staff who commit to attending the entire field study experience.

MPS participants will also receive a stipend of $500 following their completion of the field study to help defray the cost of roundtrip airfare from Minneapolis to Birmingham and other travel expenses. This opportunity is offered by the Minnesota Humanities Center in partnership with Minneapolis Public Schools Social Studies and Ethnic Studies Department and funded in part by the Minneapolis Foundation’s Reimagine Education grant.

Cost Includes
  • One Scholar and one Master Teacher
  • Lodging for six nights in 3-star hotels (double occupancy)
  • Private Motorcoach Service
  • 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners, and snacks on motorcoach (additional meals not included)
  • Entrance fees to museums and historic sites
  • Printed binder, and documentary film footage on bus
  • Five Civil Rights Foot Soldiers as Guest Speakers
  • Performance by the Carlton Reese Memorial Choir
Cost Does Not Include
  • Roundtrip travel from participants’ home city to Birmingham, AL
  • Personal Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Tips for guide/s
  • Additional meals outside of those listed above

The Minnesota Humanities Center has a limited number of $1500 scholarships to help defray the cost of participating in the Alabama Civil Rights Field Study for non-MPS educators.

Travel to Birmingham

All participants are responsible for booking their own travel arrangements to and from Birmingham. As of June 17, 2024, roundtrip flights to Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) with one stop range from $300-$400+ per ticket.

More Details


Participants must arrive in Birmingham no later than 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, 2024. A shuttle will depart from BHM at 3:00 p.m.


A shuttle will depart from the hotel to the BHM airport at noon on Saturday, August 10, 2024. All flights should depart no earlier than 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 10.


Registration for this offering is closed.