Farrell Students, Leaders to Visit Civil Rights Sites

FARRELL, Pa. – Three Farrell students, a legal guardian from each family and five leaders from the city and the school district will tour historic and educational civil rights sites in Alabama.

Through the Fred Somerset Memorial Scholarship Program, which provides Black and Brown students historical perspective and social justice understanding, the tour will include sites in Selma and Montgomery, Ala.

Founded by Jermaine Somerset, a 1991 graduate of Farrell High School, the scholarship program was created in 2017 to honor his grandfather of the same name. Somerset was determined to expand the program after the death of George Floyd in 2020. Somerset calls the expansion The Legacy Cultural Project.

“I see the program as another platform of communication between police departments and residents to help some of our marginalized communities,” Somerset said, adding the inaugural tour will run June 8-10.

Stops on the tour include the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, The Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery.

“We will walk in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis and the Freedom Riders who peacefully marched for voting rights,” Somerset said.

The program is being sponsored by a variety of people and organizations, including the city of Farrell. At the end of each day, there will be question and answer sessions facilitated by Farrell community leaders to help facilitate understanding, inclusion and positive relationship building.

Somerset, who is a systems engineer at NCIS Quantico, hopes the tour will be only the first in a long line of annual or biannual learning experiences.

“To have them walk it and illustrate that we can work on these things together, I think overall we’ll just improve the communications between the school board, the mayor and the police department,” Sommerset said.

More information about the Fred Somerset Memorial Scholarship program is available HERE.

Pictured at top: Jermaine Somerset on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.