An AC Transit bus wrapped in artwork commemorating the civil rights movement, created by Berkeley High School Arts and Humanities Academy students, will go on display on March 25 to the public.

The bus is part of the Freedom Bus Project, a joint effort by the Alameda County Office of Education and AC Transit, in conjunction with West Contra Costa Unified School District and Art IS Education. The project honors the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ historic bus ride in Montgomery, Alabama. Project co-chair and AC Transit Board Director, Joel Young, said: “There is a gap in education when it comes to teaching civil rights, and our goal is to bridge that gap by integrating civil rights and the arts.”

Elementary, middle and high school students in the AC Transit service district, which spans Alameda County and West Contra Costa County, submitted social justice-themed artwork which was considered for the Freedom Bus Project’s mobile art exhibit. Starting in April, four of the winning entries will be displayed in over 200 buses in the AC Transit fleet through the end of the month.

Executive Director of the Freedom Bus Project, Dria Fearn, said: “It is inspiring to see that the passion of civil rights is very much alive; to see the artistic interpretations of social justice through the artwork of so many young people is very special.”

The Freedom Bus Project’s Art Exhibit and Community Celebration will be held at 6pm on March 25, 2011 at the Oakland School for the Arts, 530 18th St., Oakland. The event is open to the public at no charge and will include vocal and theatrical performances by local students, including Oakland School for the Arts students. For more information, visit the Freedom Bus website.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...