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The African American Experience is the American Experience

Written by Featured Organization on 13 January 2012.

Road Scholar, the not-for-profit world leader in educational travel since 1975, is pleased to announce new 2012 domestic and international programs that highlight the African American experience and their significant contributions to American and world history. Road Scholar understands the value of diversity as the bedrock of a thriving educational community. It strives to embody the values of the rich diversity of American society throughout its organization, including but not limited to life-stage, physical ability, cultural heritage, race and economic level.

“The African American experience is the American experience, and Road Scholar strives to ensure that our programs are welcoming, inclusive and reflect our mission to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel,” said JoAnn Bell, Vice President of Programming. “Our 2012 programming is amazing. However, we continue to upgrade and improve our programs to reflect new trends and opportunities. For example, the recent opening of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial inWashington D.C. gave us the opportunity to add this monument to an existing program. We have also added a new program to our existing series of programs focused on the incredible Underground Railroad network across multiple states. We continue to keep our eye toward trends and utilize our partners and network to make sure all of our programs will be of interest to potential African American participants.”

North American Programs

Learning is at the core of every Road Scholar program. From the School House to the White House: The Road to Equal Educational Opportunity gives participants the opportunity to trace the quest for equal education opportunity from Farmville, Va., toWashington, D.C., meeting with scholars at historic sites to shed light on landmark achievements, societal changes and the importance of education as the most direct path to achievement.

The Underground Railroad in New York State tells the gripping historical tale of courageous men and women who refused to accept slavery as a fact of life. Learn about heroes and heroines, black and white, including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and others engaged in the cause. In addition to background lectures by experts, take field trips to explore significant sites in and around Rochester, Peterboro and Albany.

Learn why central Florida was the one spot on earth that felt like home to famed African American 20th-century folklorist, anthropologist and author Zora Neale Hurston, best known for her seminal and controversial novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God” set in Eatonville, Florida. Zora Neale Hurston: Life, Works and the Zora! Festival of the Arts and Humanities coincides with the annual Zora! Festival held each January in Eatonville.

International Programs

France holds a special place in the hearts and minds of African Americans. Following World War II, many celebrated African American intellectuals and musicians sought refuge from oppressive Jim Crow laws in the smoky cafes of Paris. Road Scholar’s Independent Paris: People, Places, Culture gives participants the opportunity to explore Paris with a local or on their own.

Cuba has been seemingly frozen in time for decades and off-limits to Americans. In 2011, Road Scholar was one of the few organizations in the United States to be granted a People-to-People License that enables educational travel to Cuba. In 2011, Road Scholar organized an adventure to Cuba for Morehouse College. In addition to this exclusive charter, Road Scholar offers several departures to Cuba in 2012.

Road Scholar offers private group charter programs to the Holy Land and other destinations that are tailor-made for church groups, affinity or alumni groups. Churches that have participated in a Road Scholar charter to the Holy Land includeCascade United Methodist Church in Atlanta and Jubilee Christian Church, one of the oldest and largest African American churches in Massachusetts.

Programming is just one element of Road Scholar’s commitment to diversity. For the past four years, the organization has funded the Asa Grant Hilliard III Award for Lifelong Learning to recognize an outstanding educator who has made significant contributions to lifelong learning. 2011’s winner, Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, is a professor at Florida A&M University and a member of the Association of Black Psychologists. Also, with the generous support of donors, Road Scholar has awarded more than $7 million dollars in scholarships during its 36 year history.

To enroll in From the School House to the White House, please visit our website at:

To enroll in Cuba programs, please visit our website at:, key word Cuba.

To enroll in the Underground Railroad programs, please visit our website at:, key word Underground Railroad.

To learn more about charters to the Holy Land, please visit our website at:

About Road Scholar

Road Scholar is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to inspire adults to learn, discover and travel. Our learning adventures engage expert instructors, provide extraordinary access, and stimulate discourse and friendship among people for whom learning is the journey of a lifetime. Since its inception, more than 5 million people have enrolled in its 6,500 iconic educational adventures offered annually in 50 states and 150 countries around the world. 

Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel, Inc., the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975. To learn more, visit our website at