Freedom Riders National Monument, Anniston, Alabama

This week I have finally finished the Freedom Riders National Monument Activity Booklet!! I am actually quite proud of it because I went in know nothing about graphic design, so it was a challenge. I also know that it is going into the editing process, so I’m sure there will be changes made. Yesterday, the park held a meeting/event to brainstorm ideas about what we should actually do with the park. There were people from the National Park Service (NPS) there to host it, but the public was also involved. We had discussions on what should happen to the site of the burning bus, what challenges would we face, and whether we should make the Greyhound bus station a museum. It was really exciting meeting, with one of the Freedom Riders, Bill Harbor, sharing his story with all of us. It was also great to meet people from the NPS and have those connections and networks. I think what makes my experience unique is the fact we are essentially starting out with nothing; the park is brand new. So I get the chance to see the behind-the-scenes of what it is like to make a national park. (It is a very tedious and slow process, but it is well worth it.) I think my favorite part of yesterday is what Superintendent Reggie Tiller said, “Even the smallest contributions hold significance.” So that made me self-examine what exactly I have been doing these past weeks, and how it can positively effect the national monument. I see how the activity booklet may seem like nothing, but children in the future from all over will be using and completing it. It’s a start. Like Reggie said yesterday, “We are getting somewhere; it just takes time.” The picture is of Freedom Rider Bill Harbor on the left of me, and on the right is Superintendent Reggie Tiller.

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