Global Citizen Ambassadors Fellowship

Great Exchange Journey

Nurturing unified neighborhoods rich in culture and connectedness through learning from history, listening in the present and leaning into the future together.

Facilitated by Sacred Roots

 
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The Journey is for Global Citizens Ambassadors Only. Click the button above to apply. The key locations along the Great Exchange Journey for our Global Citizen Ambassadors are as follows:

 
 

The Ever-Changing Face of America: Our Shores

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New York City

Shores of America, Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island

We start our journey on the shores of New York City, part of the ancestral  lands of the Lenape peoples, the New Amsterdam settlement of Dutch colonists, the strategic British trading post in "The New World", Ellis Island whose gate ushered in approx. 12 million immigrants and the largest port of entry for those still arriving today. 

 

A Nation Divided or Diverse?: The Civil Rights Movement

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Atlanta

King Center for Non-Violent Resistance, Stone Mountain and the Atlanta Beltline 

We journey southward to the ancestral lands of the Creek and Cherokee tribes, whose makeup changed significantly with the arrival of the British in the 1730s, and the city of Atlanta rising to significance with the expansion of the railroad. At the onset of the Civil War, Georgia seceded from the Union and joined the Confederacy as a crucial hub for those forces. As the Civil War was won by the Union, the literal ashes of Atlanta sought to reconstruct under biracial rule keen on racial integration. However, this was short lived, as slavery was all too quickly replaced by the Jim Crow laws which created nearly a century of a whole new form of separation and inequities along racial lines, stimulating the need for the movement that was to be based in its borders - the Civil Rights Movement. 

 

Selma

Pettus Bridge

We drive from the hub of the Civil Rights Movement to the location of one of it's greatest sparks, the violent clash in Selma on Pettus Bridge, which also became a powerful example of what is possible when those of different races and ethnic background can be convicted of a shared vision. As we walk those same steps, we will remember and be challenged ourselves towards the modern day opportunities to collectively rise towards a shared vision and commitment to human dignity.

 

Montgomery

National Memorial for Peace & Justice

Down the road, we continue this challenge with a visit to the new National Memorial for Peace & Justice, lamenting the too often forgotten murder by lynchings that plagued thousands of men, women and children for decades. As we ride the streets of Rosa Parks' infamous bus boycott, and face both our history and our modern day realities, we pause to contemplate where we fall in the story today. What other memorials have yet to be built, and why is it important to learn these names? How might the more than 2 million people in prison today relate to this unfolding story?

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Birmingham

16th Street Baptist Church & Birmingham Jail

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds." - Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail Where is injustice in the world today, and how is it a threat to justice in our communities? How are we tied in a single garment of destiny?

 
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Memphis

Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel and Live Music on Beale Street

As the Civil Rights Movement came to its climax, the scope it its vision grew even further. Pursuing their passion and zeal for equality for African Americans as citizens of the United States, Martin Luther King Jr and the leaders of the movement began to encounter other inequities, witnessing the correlation between power, economics and community flourishing. As this message emanated throughout the nation, it lead to the final breath of this man we are indebted to as humanity in this place 60 years ago this year. What in the message of MLK instigated such a response that led to his eventual assassination? What ought we be sure to learn from him and others who have gone before us?

 

From Sea to Shining Sea: Westward Expansion

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St Louis

The Arch & St Louis Zoo

In 1803, a significant purchase of bordering land was purchased from the French  by our nearly thirty year old nation. St Louis, sitting right on the Mississippi River border of the new lands, served as both a symbol and actual gateway into this expansion into the now second half of the United States of America. The mass migration of peoples in search of economic opportunity were repeatedly reminded that the land was not undiscovered or inhabited, but rather home to thousands of indigenous peoples of the First Nations, including many who had already fled once from their original lands further east. Who does land belong to? What has this heartland portion of our nation brought to who we are today? 

 

United We Stand?: Multiethnic Cities and Nation

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Chicago

Bud Biliken Parade, Ethnic Enclaves, Chicago Sightseeing

As we finish our journey, we grand finale in one of our nations most beautifully diverse cities, representing both the beauty and the challenge of this vision of unified neighborhoods rich in culture and connectedness. Discover some of the ethnic enclaves throughout Chicago's 77 neighborhoods, celebrate the progress and future of African Americans today at the Bud Biliken Parade, and commit to diving into the next chapter of our shared story - community flourishing with and for all people.