CPC Oral History Project – People Who made History

Last week the students of Mr. Masters’ and Mr. Major’s Grade 11-12 classes had the chance to learn from people who made history, courtesy of the Social Equity Committee.  We were able to host two speakers who visited with our students over zoom.  First Alice Pretlow visited us; in 1964 Alice attended an integrated school when she was going into Grade 4, one of the first students to do so in the state of Mississippi, where desegregation and voter registration efforts were lagging as the civil rights movement was making great strides.  Alice’s parents and siblings were at the heart of these efforts too, and they paid a price for their activism in those days.  So did Charles Person, who also visited us last week.  Charles was one of the original Freedom Riders, bravely boarding buses in the South and crossing state lines, an illegal act at the time.  In 1961 he challenged the system, braving the beatings and bombings, and following the ideals of Martin Luther King and John Lewis, both of whom he met and befriended.  Charles went on to serve the country he was redefining as a Marine, serving overseas in Vietnam.  Alice and Charles lived in a challenging time, and their efforts remind us that the challenge is not over.  Next year we will continue this journey in the new Grade 12 Social Justice course.