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Pre-conference day tours

Wednesday, September 6, 10:30 a.m.- University of Alabama

photo of media center front desk area

Roll Tide! You depart for a tour at the University of Alabama to see what we have besides a dominating football team. The Digital Media Center (DMC) is located in the famed stadium where Alabama crushes SEC teams, so you can visit both - sports and a place where new journalists cut their teeth. The state-of-the-art DMC is home to four professional media outlets including university-owned WVUA 23, Alabama Public Radio, The Center for Public Television and Crimson Tide Productions. More than 90 staff members work with more than 100 students for real life experience and a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates.

Wednesday, September 6, 6:00 p.m.- Pub Crawl

close-up photo of three glasses of beer sitting on a bar

Birmingham is home to a craft beer scene so hipster, it made the New York Times 52 places to visit list. We will start at Avondale Brewing, where it all began. Built in a former brothel, it celebrates its colorful past with a Brothel Brown. It's symbol, an elephant, comes from Miss Fancy (featured in "Fried Green Tomatoes" at the Whistle Stop Cafe), whose owner lost her in a card game. She lived out her life in Avondale Park giving rides. From there, we visit Cahaba Brewing, located in an old mill. Then, to Trim Tab, which is the newest brewery in Birmingham's Southside. You can go from pillar to post with its Rye Brown beer. Good People Brewing sprang up beside our new baseball field. Try the Snake Handler! The taproom is located right in the brewery for that yeasty smell and the occasional beeping of forklifts. We will eat some Post Office Pies while indulging in a Miss Fancy's Tripel. The real Miss Fancy was known to guzzle some Prohibition-era beer!

Thursday, September 7, 9:00 a.m.- Civil Rights Tour

photo of statu honoring civil rights fight

It began at Bethel — the Baptist church of the unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth. Known as the most fearless of the Civil Rights leaders, he pushed a more cerebral Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to come to Birmingham and march into history. You can see where Shuttlesworth was bombed out of his bed one Christmas morning. From Bethel, we travel to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where you begin by entering a segregated world. The passage through the Institute will take you through the Freedom Riders, Children's March, fire hoses, dogs and KKK uniforms to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. We will cross the street to the famed 16th Street Baptist Church, where four little girls were killed in a bombing, sparking legislation. You will see the stained-glass window above the bomb where everything was saved, except the face of Jesus. Across the street, walk the park where freedom marchers meet police resistance. Statues recall the arrests, the dogs and the fire hoses.