Each spring, students, faculty, and staff from SMU journey together for an experiential learning tour centered on the American Civil Rights Movement. While visiting historic sites, engaging with those who participated in the Movement, and touring museums that interpret lessons of non-violent social activism, Pilgrims are inspired and equipped as advocates for justice.
The Pilgrimage highlights the multi-disciplinary reality of social movements and the religious values and spiritual depth that undergird a commitment to be world changers. Participants reflect ethically and spiritually on their calling to be faithful witnesses for peace and justice and are encouraged to identify and research contemporary interests through the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement.
In collaboration with partners across the University, the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life offers the Dr. Dennis Simon Civil Rights Pilgrimage in fulfilling our commitment to create an inclusive community that celebrates intellectual curiosity about religion and spirituality, nourishes ethical decision-making, cultivates deep spiritual exploration, and supports faithful living. Click here to see a video with reflections from our 2022 Civil Rights Pilgrims.
In 2018, in celebration of his own experience of the Civil Rights Pilgrimage as a student, Kelvin Beachum '10, '12, established an endowment in memory of Dr. Dennis Simon to support the Pilgrimage into the future. Support from donors is essential to making the Pilgrimage accessible to all SMU students. We welcome and value your support!