Cultivate empathy.

On October 11, Judge Myron Thompson met with about two dozen students from Hendrix College, who were touring the Montgomery and surrounding areas in relation to the Civil Rights Movement. The tour (an Odyssey Special Project road trip, one of Hendrix College’s unique hands-on learning experiences) included this stop in historic Courtroom 2FMJ, where Judge Thompson spoke with the students and their adult leaders.

Judge Thompson spoke briefly about the courtroom itself, and then of Judge Johnson and some of the decisions handed down during the Civil Rights Movement. A special guest with the students included one of the men who participated in the Minister’s March (Turnback Tuesday), who was a seminary student at Southern Methodist University at the time. Judge Thompson and he spoke about his participation, and what might prompt young people into giving of themselves in such a cause. The conversation became a discussion of empathy, and how important it is for people to reach out and support others who are disenfranchised.

The Hendrix group also visited the Freedom Riders exhibit, met people in Marion, Alabama who were there the night Jimmy Lee Jackson was killed, stopped at Brown Chapel AME Church and the Interpretive Center in Selma, and toured the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.

Hendrix College is a four-year, private, coed Liberal Arts college founded in 1876, and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Located in Conway, AK, their motto “Unto the whole person” reflects their dedication to “cultivate empathy, creativity, self-understanding, rigorous inquiry, informed deliberation, and active learning across the liberal arts.”