Life Changing Experiences

Your journey through college is one that changes your life, broadens your horizons, and enhances your critical thinking skills. We firmly believe that the college journey should also open hearts and minds to histories and experiences sometimes not fully appreciated by all. The Civil Rights Pilgrimage through UWEC is a unique opportunity to travel the path of the civil rights movement and walk through these pivotal places and stories in our history.

See how the Civil Rights Pilgrimage has shaped students, faculty and educators. Watch even more videos on our annual immersion program by visiting our Civil Rights Pilgrimage YouTube Playlist.

2023 Details

The trips for the 2023 academic year will begin on Friday, January 6, 2023 for the Winter trip and March 17, 2023 for the Spring trip. Participants will travel to cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Montgomery, Selma, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee and many more pivotal locations for the Civil Rights Movement. Participants will return to Eau Claire on Monday, January 16, or Sunday, March 26, 2023.

Course Affiliation

Students can participate on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage independently or they can take the 3-credit travel seminar offered through Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. The class is offered in Fall as an HNRS 129 and in Spring as WGSS 222. Students enrolling in the course will use their tuition to pay for the special course fee which covers the cost of the trip.

Help Fund the CRP

Without the continued support from the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and generous community donations, the UW-Eau Claire Civil Rights Pilgrimage would not be possible for many students and area teachers. It is through their contributions that students and teachers are able to learn in great depth and experience the civil rights movement. Please consider donating.

Learn More

For Questions Contact:

Jodi Marie Thesing- Ritter

Executive Director for Diversity and Inclusion

Phone Number: 715-836-3651 | Email:

Planning and implementing the very first Civil Rights Pilgrimage was a transformative experience for me. It changed the way I see the world. And it cemented my resolve to work for justice. I continue to work with students to bring this learning experience to others in the hope that our collective learning will leading to substantive work for change.

Jodi Thesing- Ritter

Director of Diversity & Inclusion

My first civil rights pilgrimage was eye opening and emotional. Being in the places where those events actually happened is something truly world changing.

Natylee Winter

Social Studies Education '25

The Civil Rights Pilgrimage is the most impactful experience I have had at UWEC. Being immersed in such an important and intense part of history has helped me to better understand my role in fostering a more inclusive future.

Josh Gonzalez

UWEC Grad Assistant