Operation Understanding DC Summer Tour

Meridian, Miss. High school seniors from the Washington, D.C., area, made a stop in Meridian Thursday as part of Operation Understanding DC.

Its mission is to build a generation of African American and Jewish community leaders who promote respect, understanding and cooperation while working to eradicate racism and discrimination.

Students say they are learning about how things have changed, but also how they can make a change.

"We're learning from civil rights leaders from the 1950s, 1960s, also modern civil rights leaders, so we can form a dialogue in order for us to to learn how to progress the civil rights of today," said Ricky Washington, of Washington, D.C.

"One of the most surprising things is that even though the civil rights movement was 50 years ago there are still a lot of the same injustices going on today," said Erica Davidson of Vienna, Va. "And there is still a big push that needs to happen to fix some of these injustices."

The 24 seniors have been traveling the path of the Freedom Riders, beginning in New York and going all across the south. Visits in Meridian for the past several years have involved meetings with Roscoe Jones and Bill Ready, Sr.