Journey to Justice

Journey to Justice Team Day at the Black Cultural Archives Saturday October 25th 2014

Thirty five of JtoJ’s volunteers, advisers, supporters and steering group members spent a most stimulating day together in the brand new Black Cultural Archives Learning Room on Saturday October 25th. We explored the meaning of social justice, shared our own journeys to justice and were taken through a lesson in the importance of critical thinking as Martin Spafford unpacked the true story behind this notorious photo from the Children’s Crusade, 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama:

(copyright Bill Hudson, 1963)

Before lunch, our North East co-ordinator and singer extraordinaire, Bethany Elen Kirtley Coyle sang Joan Baez’s tragic Birmingham Sunday and led us all in Sweet Honey in the Rock’s Ella’s Song about Ella Baker, one of the many unsung heroes and heroines of the US civil rights movement:

We held our first AGM that afternoon, agreeing a revised constitution ready for our application to become a charity. We heard reports and updates about our amazing first year and elected a new management committee [link??]. It was a very special seven hours and a milestone for the team.


‘I liked the way activities involved everyone, a refreshing way to discover new insights and knowledge about that period of history. I was reminded of how much work goes on behind the scenes to make change happen, and that there are lots of unsung heroes and efforts involved in organising events and actions for social justice.’

‘Most memorable was the wonderful cross-section of people present – all supporting JtoJ in different and important ways.  This was inspiring and reflected our principles of JtoJ. I loved Bethany’s beautiful singing and I learnt much more about the tactics and reporting of the US civil rights movement and how much more complex the struggle was……… in contrast to the well-known, traditional description of events and personalities.’

‘The introduction was very powerful, finding out what justice meant to each individual because everyone is on their own journey.’

‘It made me rethink more deeply about how the media and different viewpoints shape historical narratives.’

‘I was inspired and educated about the nature of the planning and overall mission of the non-violent civil rights movement via the discussion and reflection of those events. I learnt that it requires planning, clear goals, focus, and cooperation to make positive changes.’

‘I didn’t know so much about the Birmingham protest so that was fascinating. I was also inspired by meeting so many passionate people, and felt part of the J2J community.’