Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. is taking 135 Chicago-area high school students to visit his alma mater, Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. Students will tour the campus and meet with school officials as they consider their future plans for college. White is providing buses and meals for the students as well as arranging their accommodations. White will address the students in the parking lot prior to their departure, and then join them in Alabama on Saturday.
The purpose of the tour is to give young people who are considering college an opportunity to visit a prominent university that played a key part in the civil rights movement, and to expand their opportunities for college. In addition to White, distinguished alumni from the school include civil rights heroes Dr. Ralph Abernathy and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and actress/singer Africa Miranda. While attending school at Alabama State, White participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott where he worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to sit in a segregated area on a public bus. Their efforts led to the integration of the Montgomery Transit System, a critically important event in the history of the civil rights movement.