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Atlanta Civil Rights Tour: Journey Through History

IB Workshops Preconference


Embark on a transformative experience with our Atlanta Civil Rights Preconference Tour, a compelling exploration of the pivotal moments and iconic sites that shaped the American Civil Rights Movement. 


Atlanta, known as the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and a significant hub for US Civil Rights activism, provides the backdrop for a captivating journey through history.


Throughout this three-hour immersive journey, our expert guide, Tom Houck, provides context, anecdotes, and personal narratives that bring the history of the US Civil Rights Movement to life. Mr. Houck was intimately involved in the Movement and has so many stories to share!


Engage with the struggles, triumphs, and ongoing efforts for justice, making this tour an enriching and thought-provoking experience for all. Atlanta's profound legacy in the fight for Civil Rights awaits you on this inspiring and educational tour. Stops will include:

  • Dr. King’s last home

  • Magnolia Ballroom

  • Hunter Street (MLK now), location of the old Paschal’s Restaurant

  • Morehouse College

  • Rush Memorial Church

  • South View Cemetery

  • SCLC & SNCC Freedom House &Dr. King’s old house

  • Auburn Avenue

  • Martin Luther King Center & MLK Crypt

  • Martin Luther King Memorial Site (US Parks Service)

  • Ebenezer Baptist Church

  • Martin Luther King Birthplace

  • Edgewood Avenue  & Sweet Auburn Market

  • State Capitol & City Hall


This tour, centered around Dr. King's activism journey, prompts us to reflect upon our beliefs, relationships, and possibilities that could arise when a common mission is at hand. 


These ideas encapsulate the desire all IB educators have to foster international-mindedness in our students, as defined by the IB learner profile. They speak to our want and ability to make a positive change in the world while recognizing that other people, with their differences, can also be right. Experiential connections to concepts presented in the Transdisciplinary Themes and Global Contexts in the IB curriculum provide a backdrop for inspiration as we consider how to integrate the IB mission with our teaching and learning. 


Tom Houck.jpg

Expelled from high school in 1965 for marching in the Selma to Montgomery March, Tom committed himself to the Civil Rights movement.From 1965-1971, Houck worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Voter Education Project (VEP) in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Washington DC, New York, and Chicago.  During this time Houck was arrested on numerous occasions while participating in non-violent civil disobedient demonstrations to secure civil and voting rights for all Americans. In 1966 he filed suit against Jefferson County, Alabama jails resulting in a landmark US Supreme Court decision desegregating prisons across America.

Tom was an aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr from 1966 until his assassination in 1968. During this time he served as a driver and personal assistant to Dr. King and his family.  Houck also became the youngest member of the SCLC executive staff, working with organizations to end the Vietnam War and mobilizing for the “Poor Peoples Campaign”. 

From 1970 until 1972 Houck worked as field director for VEP alongside noted Civil Rights leaders John Lewis and Julian Bond – mobilizing, registering, and encouraging minority voter participation across 11 southern states of the old Confederacy. Returning to Georgia in 1973, Houck worked extensively on various political campaigns, including Andrew Young's successful bid for US Congress, Maynard Jackson’s election as Atlanta’s first Black mayor, and multiple efforts of John Lewis’s and Zell Miller’s .

In 1977, his involvement in politics and long standing interest in journalism led to a new career in radio, TV, and print journalism. For the next 25 years Houck was a presence in Atlanta and national media, hosting radio shows, appearing as a tv panelist on various political tv news shows, and writing regular newspaper columns and magazine articles. Leaving journalism in the early 2000’s, Houck went on to start a public affairs company and maintained his strong passion for politics working with various local and state and national candidates.

As a life-long advocate for Civil and Human Rights, Houck has been in demand as a speaker over the last decade, especially on the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 


  • Preconference tours will be available twice a day on the Monday preceding workshop start date: 

    • June 11-13, 2024 workshops -- Preconference tours on Monday, June 10th at 10:00 am or 3:00 pm​

    • July 9-11, 2024 workshops -- Preconference tours on Monday, July 8th at 10:00 am or 3:00 pm

  • Participants will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the preconference start (David T. Howard Middle School) and end (Paschal's Restaurant) points. 

  • At end of tour, participants may elect to dine at the historic Paschal's Restaurant on their own.


  • Payment for preconference must be made at time of workshop payment.

  • No refunds will be possible after payment.

  • Preconference spot may be transferred to someone else from your organization who is also attending the event.

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