D.C. students tour Birmingham while following Freedom Riders pat - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

D.C. students tour Birmingham while following Freedom Riders path

The group of students tour Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC The group of students tour Temple Emanu-El in Birmingham. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC
Former prosecutor Doug Jones talking to students from DC about civil rights history in Birmingham. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC Former prosecutor Doug Jones talking to students from DC about civil rights history in Birmingham. Source: Clare Huddleston/WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

About two dozen high school students from Washington, D.C. are on a three week journey following the path of the 1961 Freedom Riders, and their trip brought them to Birmingham.

The group is made up of 12 black teens and 12 Jewish teens. They're learning about each other's heritage and how their cultures have intertwined over the course of history.

Their stop in Birmingham includes a tour of the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Temple Emanu-El.

Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones talked to the group about prosecuting two of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombers.

He says history often repeats itself and he hopes these future leaders learn from past mistakes.

"A lot of what we're seeing around the country today harkens back to what happened here in Birmingham 50 years ago, whether it's Charleston, whether it's Ferguson, whether it's Baltimore.  And I think these are the leaders these are the people who are going to come next and they've got to understand mistakes that happened in the past so that we don't repeat them again,” Jones said.

The group has already visited New York, North Carolina and Georgia. When they leave Birmingham they'll go to Montgomery, Selma, Mississippi and Tennessee before returning home to D.C.

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