New York

In a transformative educational trip, a group of 14 learners from St. David’s College embarked on a journey to New York City to delve into the intricate tapestry of civil rights and American politics.

The students, studying History and Politics at A level, sought first-hand experiences to enrich their understanding of pivotal figures and movements that shaped the landscape of equality and justice in the US.

Among the luminaries they explored were Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X, whose indelible marks on the civil rights movement resonate to this day. Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born activist and orator, was the leader of the Pan-Africanism movement, advocating for Black nationalism and economic empowerment. His vision inspired millions globally, emphasizing self-reliance and pride in African heritage.

Malcolm X, a towering figure in the struggle for racial equality, espoused Black liberation through radical means. From his early involvement with the Nation of Islam to his evolution towards broader human rights advocacy, Malcolm X’s message challenged societal norms and called for systemic change, leaving an enduring legacy of resilience and defiance.

During their time in New York, the learners had the privilege of meeting Dorothy Zellner, a stalwart civil rights activist whose commitment to social justice spans decades. Zellner’s activism began in the 1960s when she joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), working tirelessly to register Black voters in the South and participating in Freedom Rides to challenge segregation. Her dedication to the cause continued throughout her life, embodying the spirit of grassroots activism and perseverance in the face of adversity.

The learners were granted a unique opportunity to visit the United Nations Headquarters. They were guided through the General Assembly, where global issues are debated and resolutions are passed, providing insight into the diplomatic processes shaping international affairs. A tour of the Security Council chamber, where nations convene to address matters of peace and security, offered a glimpse into real-time decision-making, as the Council was in session during their visit. Lastly, exploring the UN Secretariat provided a behind-the-scenes look at the administrative hub of the organization, showcasing the inner workings of multilateral diplomacy and cooperation on a global scale.

No New York trip would be complete without indulging in quintessential New York experiences, visiting iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. They racked up an impressive number of steps through the streets of Wall Street, Chinatown, and Little Italy, absorbing the vibrant and wide-ranging multicultural pulse of the city. A visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral offered a moment of reflection amidst the urban hustle, while paying homage to Alexander Hamilton’s grave underscored the intertwining of history and memory in the city that never sleeps.

Mrs Hember said,

“We all had an amazing time in New York.

It was a pleasure to take 14 bright and inquisitive students to learn more about American history and politics in such a vibrant city. It’s an experience I hope they can take with them beyond their A levels, I certainly have some great memories of the trip”.

As they return to St. David’s College, these learners carry with them not only a deeper understanding of civil rights history but also a broader perspective on the world and their place within it. Their journey to New York exemplifies the power of experiential learning to ignite curiosity, empathy, and a lifelong commitment to social change.