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Leadership Team

Team & Contact   Scholar Advisors   Board of Directors   Contact Sojourn

FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Steinberg founded Sojourn to the Past is 1999 and continues as the lead educator on the academic immersion journeys. He retired from a 14-year career as an Advanced Placement History teacher/Department Chair in the San Francisco Bay Area to work full time with Sojourn. He has designed the Sojourn moving classroom experience with a rigorous curriculum for students that is aligned with California and national curriculum content standards.  Since its inception, Mr. Steinberg  has led over six thousand students through Sojourn’s living history lesson, along the path of the Civil Rights Movement, through five states in the American South. Currently, Sojourn to the Past is active throughout California, in New York, Ohio, and Massachusetts. Additionally, Mr. Steinberg makes hundreds of interactive presentations annually across the country on the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and their relationship to current human rights issues and conditions. Upwards of 300,000 people have participated in his presenations. Mr. Steinberg and the Sojourn Program are the recipients of numerous state and national honors and awards. To contact Mr. Steinberg: Jeff@sojournproject.com

 

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Meg Honey has been involved with Sojourn to the Past since 2008. She has taken students on the life-changing journey and has led bus lessons and class sessions on our trips. Meg teaches Advanced Placement United States History and Government/Economics at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. In addition, she teaches in the Single and Multiple Subject Credential programs and is part of the Master of Arts in Teaching Leadership faculty at Saint Mary’s College of California. Meg completed her Master’s Degree in United States History at San Jose State University, and she has researched and written extensively on the Civil Rights Movement. Meg manages Sojourn’s social media channels and website, and she handles media requests and special projects for the organization. To contact Ms. Honey: meg@sojournproject.com

 

OFFICE MANAGER Christina Hanlon has been affiliated with Sojourn to the Past since 2008 when she traveled with Mills High School on a Sojourn journey. Christina is a graduate of San Francisco State University where she earned a degree in Criminal Justice and Race and Resistance. She is currently taking coursework in Ethnic Studies and hopes to teach at the college level. Christina handles the day-to-day logistics of our organization and is the contact person for information about the journeys, school meetings, and college credit. To contact Ms. Hanlon: christina@sojournproject.com

SUPPORT TEAM

TEACHER/ADVISOR Minnijean Brown Trickey was one of a group of African-American teenagers known as the “Little Rock Nine.” Brown, along with eight others (Thelma Mothershed, Elizabeth Eckford, Gloria Ray, Jefferson Thomas, Melba Pattillo, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls, Daisy Bates, and Ernest Green) faced down an angry mob and helped to desegregate Central High on September 25, 1957, under the gaze of 1,200 armed soldiers. During the Sojourn trips, Minnijean conducts a class in Little Rock, Arkansas, on tolerance, bigotry, hate groups, and the ongoing struggle for social justice. Her firsthand experience with blatant racial hatred is uniquely poignant, and, as a lifelong activist, Brown-Trickey is able to articulate the encounter with clarity and perspective. Her testimony not only exposes Sojourn students to the effects of injustices of the past, but also serves as a noteworthy example of how they can act to prevent discrimination in their communities.

 

TEACHER/ADVISOR Kenneth Mason earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Hendrix College in Arkansas. After completing his undergraduate degree, he joined the Teach for America (TFA) corps and taught at Castlemont High School in Oakland for four years. While at Castlemont, Mr. Mason took his students on Sojourn to the Past and fell in love with the mission and vision of the organization. While developing as a school and community leader in the Bay Area, Mr. Mason earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at the University of San Francisco and facilitated the creation of one of the pioneer FIRST Robotics teams in the region in partnership with representatives from NASA. Mr. Mason currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia where he is a founding board member and advisory council chair for KIPP Strive Academy and Primary schools in metro Atlanta.

 

ADVISOR (BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA) Lisa McNair is the oldest living daughter of Chris and Maxine McNair who are the parents of Denise McNair, one of the four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. For eighteen years, she worked at the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau promoting tourism. She was instrumental in developing the Birmingham, Jefferson County Civil Rights Historic Tours. Currently, she is employed by a non-profit organization, Hand-In-Paw, which helps people ‘heal with animal assisted therapy”.

 

TEACHER/ADVISOR (YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO) Penny Wells

 

BEHAVIOR SUPPORT NURSE Carolyn Harris-Muchell, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, FNP, RN has been a psychiatric nurse, specializing in children, adolescents and families for thirty years. She has served as the behavior support nurse on over a dozen Sojourn journeys. She has a special interest in the transition and integration of children on the autistic spectrum into mainstream education and social settings. She has worked with community based health care organizations, managed inpatient units and is a private psychotherapist. She is on the clinical faculty at the University of California San Francisco, and a faculty member at various nursing programs.

 

CONSULTANT Steve Schulz is a graduate from the University of San Francisco where he earned a degree in United States History. He served as Sojourn’s Office Manager, Technology Coordinator, and Curriculum Support for several years and continues to consult with the organization.

 

BOOKKEEPER Lucy Ceres has worked with Sojourn to the Past since its inception in 1999. Prior to her work with our organization, Ms. Ceres served as a School Financial Assistant at Capuchino High School. She has over 20 years experience in educational bookkeeping.

OUR SPEAKERS

Key to the living history component of the Sojourn academic immersion journeys are the ten lecturers who meet and offer historical insight to the subject matter based on their personal experiences during the Civil Rights Movement. Among these are US Congressman John Lewis (young leader during the Movement); Minnijean Brown Trickey and Elizabeth Eckford (Little Rock Nine); MacArthur Genius Award recipient Jerry Mitchell (whose investigative reporting brought to justice the murderers of civil rights leaders); Rev. Billy Kyles (close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr).; the family of Vernon Dahmer Sr. (who was murdered for registering Mississippi residents to vote); the McNair Family (whose daughter was killed in the Klan bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama). For the complete roster of speakers, click here.

Forty years post the Civil Rights Movement, the struggle for equity throughout the system remains. As veteran leaders of the movement age, it is clearly our responsibility to insure that the vigilance continues. Sojourn to the Past is one such tool. Through a ten day journey that immerses and personalizes for students the historical dynamics of dominance, the politics of difference, and the courage of those who rose to the challenge, students learn the history of the Civil Rights Movement while they examine present day systems, individual behavior, language and thoughts that perpetuate racism and discrimination.
-Ethel Konopka, Found Member Board of Directors
 

Civil Rights Resource Center