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Participants of Civil Rights Pilgrimage Share What They Learned

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Jefferson School African American Heritage Center held an event Sunday to let the participants of the Community Civil Rights Pilgrimage speak and share their experiences. 

Ruth Henderson has seen many decades of racism in America. 

“I’m very familiar with segregation. I was born in '35, so in these days you think it's not segregated but it still is,” Henderson said.
 
Now she and other members of the Charlottesville Albemarle community have returned from a six-day pilgrimage, exploring various civil rights sites.

With this knowledge, Henderson and others hope to do more for the community.

“There's much work to be done here and participating in events like this is just a small seed in much of that work,” said Don Gathers.
 
Those who participated in this journey had the opportunity to share what they learned on Sunday.
 
“I didn't realize how much I was missing from education,” DeTeasa Gathers said.
 
“People seem to feel like somehow, somebody from outside our community brought racism to Charlottesville and I don’t believe that at all. I think racism has been here,” Donna Wylie said.
 
Some say this journey comes at a time where this city needs to pay more attention and get involved in civil rights issues.
 
“It's important that we realize that as a community and as a country considering all of the events we've recently gone through, everything that the country continues to go through and we have an opportunity, not necessarily to rewrite history but tell its true and full story,” said Don Gathers.
 
More than 100 people from the Charlottesville Albemarle area went on the pilgrimage in July and many say they have bonded with members throughout the community because of this shared experience.