Jamie Coleman, a graduating senior, was the only student from ASU nominated to participate in the annual Faith and Politics Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage, which was led by Congressman John Lewis. The Faith & Politics Institute convenes members of Congress and other elected officials of all political affiliations, spiritual traditions and races, and engages them in constructive dialogue around shared values necessary to advance democracy – conscience, courage, and compassion. More than 150 “pilgrims,” spent three days in Alabama, touring historic buildings and landmarks, including Alabama State University, and holding informative discussions about race relations and the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Jamie had the following recollection of participating in the pilgrimage: "This past weekend was the annual Faith and Politics Civil Rights Pilgrimage that began Friday in Birmingham and ended Sunday in Montgomery. The overall experience far exceeded my expectations from all the congressmen and women who flew out, the events and panel discussion that took place, and just being able to walk back through history. I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to have been selected to participate and represent Alabama State University. Although I was not able to attend Friday’s events, I started my pilgrimage bright and early Saturday morning as we ventured to Selma, Alabama. In Selma, we took a picture in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and heard remarks from congressmen John Lewis and Juanita Abernathy who was a part of the legendary march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. We retraced the steps of the very people who made the lives we have now possible and even got to listen to a panel of women at the Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church who were a part of the civil rights movement. We had other stops along the way and then made our way back to Montgomery where Rev. Jesse Jackson joined us to tour Martin Luther King Jr. house and Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. The night ended with a Dinner Gala that allowed everyone to mix and mingle and recap on the day. Sunday rolled around and I was delighted to be able to welcome everyone to the campus as we prepared for the closing ceremonies. ASU played a vital part during the civil rights era and to be able to have that brought to light was amazing with the walking tour that was held on campus. We had heard another amazing panel from those who lived and protested during that time as they dropped gems of knowledge and wisdom before we had the concluding Gospel Brunch. Overall, the weekend was jam packed full of activities but amazing nonetheless. I was able to meet and connect with some amazing people in politics as well as students from across the United States and gain so much insight on the behind the scenes of the civil rights movement and the ripple effects it had moving forward. It was definitely an experience everyone needs to be exposed".
Jamie will be graduating in May 2017 with a BS in Marketing. She has had a study abroad experience in Barcelona, attended a summer program at Harvard Business School, interned at Google, where she has received a full time offer and will begin work after graduation. She is the president of Student Athletic Advisor Committee, a part of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Emma Bowen Foundation, and Harvard SVMP Alumni board. Athletically, she is walking away as a team captain with 3 conference championship titles, 3 NCAA Volleyball tournament appearances, First Team All- Conference, and the conference Defensive Player of the Year.