American Airlines is Official Carrier for the 2010 Bridge Crossing Jubilee Event
FORT WORTH, Texas, March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines is a sponsor of the 10th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, Ala., a series of events to commemorate the epic struggle for civil rights in the United States. Events are being held throughout the weekend of March 5-7 to mark the 45th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" and the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.
American is providing transportation aboard its yellow-ribbon Flagship Freedom Boeing 757 aircraft from Washington, D.C., to Alabama for Congressional delegates and members of the Faith & Politics Institute, as part of the airline's ongoing commitment to honor all who serve. The delegation includes Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), pilgrimage chairman, and honorary co-leaders Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and their families, as well as religious leaders, civil rights luminaries, journalists, labor leaders, and Faith & Politics Institute staff and board members.
"American Airlines is proud of its history of diversity and inclusion, and it is important to us to honor those who fought so heroically for civil rights in this country," said Will Ris, Jr., American's Senior Vice President – Government Affairs. "We are pleased to provide transportation to this delegation and members of the Faith & Politics Institute as a demonstration of our dedication to celebrating the leaders who fought so tirelessly for these freedoms."
Early Friday morning, delegates and their families departed Washington Reagan National Airport aboard the American Airlines charter, bound for Alabama's Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport. The group will visit a number of sites, including:
- Kelly Ingram Park, which served as a central staging ground for large-scale demonstrations during the civil rights movement.
- The Rosa Parks Museum, a major landmark in downtown Montgomery, constructed on the site of the old Empire Theatre where Mrs. Parks made her historic stand in 1955.
- The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and Parsonage, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was pastor from 1954 to 1966 and began his quest for civil rights.
- The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, site of the first of three civil rights marches on March 7, 1965, where 600 civil rights marchers were attacked by state and local police with clubs and tear gas.
"We are honored to help commemorate Bloody Sunday and the march from Selma to Montgomery as two pivotal events in the history of the U.S. civil rights movement," said Dale Morris, American Eagle's Managing Director – State & Community Affairs. "As a youngster I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hear Dr. King speak. It was a life-changing experience and makes this pilgrimage particularly meaningful for me."
Bridge Crossing Jubilee event highlights include the Freedom Flame Awards; a mock trial with television judge Mabelean Ephriam; a speech by Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education; and reenactment of the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.
In addition to providing support for the weekend's events, American is showcasing its American Eagle jet service to Montgomery, Ala., as a new destination in BlackAtlas.com, highlighting the region's rich history. BlackAtlas.com is a social networking site that combines the best features of a travel site with the power of social networking to create a dynamic online venue for travelers to share experiences distinct to the black community.
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SOURCE American Airlines