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Sun Devils Left Inspired After Pac-12 Educational Trip to Alabama

Jul 26, 2022

Alabama- This past weekend, Sun Devil gymnasts Izzy Redmond and Juliette Boyer, along with Office of Student-Development Coach Markisha Farrier, joined other student-athletes and personnel from the Pac-12, ACC, and the Big 10 in a three-day trip to Alabama for an educational event that will prepare them to make an impact after their athletic careers.

 

The event started in Montgomery, Alabama where they heard from keynote speaker Sheyann Webb-Christburg who is an author and in-person witness of the original Bloody Sunday Attack. They then took a visit across Montgomery and Selma visiting key locations of the Civil Rights Movement such as the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the First Baptist Church where they heard from Lydia Blackman Lowery, who shared her story of marching with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Selma Voting Rights March.

 

 The trip also took them to the Interpretative Center at Alabama State University, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, the Alabama Department of Archives and History, and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Legacy Museum, where they heard from social justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson, where they discussed their experience visiting the locations.

 

With so many student-athletes in attendance, Boyer felt impacted by the number of people who were willing to learn.

 

"It was really nice to be around so many student-athletes with the same mindset and outlook and people who just really appreciated all the work that had gone into this weekend. All the information we learned about was very inspirational, new, and emotional at times."

 

For all three Sun Devil attendees, it was a powerful event where they learned more about the Civil Rights movement than they had previously learned in school. Farrier didn't realize how many students were involved in the protests and marches, and noticed how Redmond and Boyer soaked in the entire experience.

 

"I didn't realize that these protests and marches were so student-focused and student involved. [For my] current students being the age that there are, they're like, whoa, like people that were our age and younger, they were the ones doing this. So that was a lot of their takeaway. And they were two girls that really just took the time and took it all in, said Farrier, who noticed a change in Boyer when she met with Stevenson.

 

"Jules had been sharing with me that she was interested in going to law school, but there was some hesitancy about law school. Well, she has our guest speaker, Bryan Stevenson, speak with her, and I kind of get her on video. I couldn't quite make out everything, but I could kind of hear her talking to him and saying, you know, I'm interested in going to law school.

Boyer felt that Stevenson had made a huge impact on her future in the time she was able to hear him speak.

 

I recently found a passion for law on the legal side of things, but I was still unsure if that was the route I wanted to take. After hearing Bryan Stevenson talk, I was absolutely sure that I wanted to go into law. It was really inspirational and I'm so grateful, I had the opportunity just to listen to him speak."

 

What stood out for Redmond was listening to Linda Lowry tell her story and her experiences during the Civil Rights Movement and realizing the fact how recent the Civil Rights movement happened.

 

"I think the biggest story that stood out was when we were listening to Linda Lowry. She is one of the freedom fighters who were actually on the Edmund Pettus Bridge during Bloody Sunday in 1965. Hearing her retelling her story of being there when she was 15 years old made me realize how recent that history is and how it happened in a single person's lifetime. Hearing her recount her experience was really impactful and emotional, but also super inspiring."

 

As President and Vice President of the Black Student-Athlete Association, Redmond and Boyer left feeling they were bringing back valuable information to help make an impact in the world. They each felt they had the necessary tools to help educate other student-athletes that it doesn't matter how young you are, you can make a difference.

 

"It shows that students everywhere have the power to make a change," Redmond said.  "The idea that this is recent history, and when you hear about it, it's almost like this faraway distant thing but it's important for people to realize how recent it is."

 

About Pac-12 Impact

Pac-12 Impact is the social outreach initiative of the Pac-12 Conference. In the pioneering spirit of the West Coast, the Pac-12 is committed to using the power of sport to promote a culture of diversity and inclusion. The Pac-12 is spreading the message of inclusion, celebrating diversity, standing strong against bullying, and fostering fairness and good sportsmanship. Learn more about the initiative at Pac-12.com/impact.