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Learn about D.C.'s Civil Rights History


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October 11, 2022

7News DC: 2 Md. high schoolers create app to highlight DC civil rights landmarks

Lily and Eliza Dorton were only 15 and 13 years old when they started doing their homework on the history of civil rights here in the District of Columbia.

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October 5, 2022

Fox 5 Washington DC: Teens create DC Civil Rights Tour app

While learning about D.C.'s central role in the African American civil rights movement, the sisters decided to create an app so that others could learn too. They consulted a Black studies professor at Suffolk University and reached out to Rohulamin Quander, a multi-generation Washingtonian and retired judge, to mark less-familiar locations.

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October 3, 2022

Washington City Paper

Two Maryland high school students, Lily and Eliza Dorton, created an app that features an interactive map of civil rights landmarks throughout D.C.

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The Sacramento Observer: High Schoolers Launch Civil Rights Tour App

“Washington, D.C. and our country have been shaped by the dedication and hope of Black Americans,” the sisters said in a statement. “Black Americans were leading the fight for equal rights. As kids living in the D.C. area, we wanted to create a tour reflecting the truth about civil rights in Washington, D.C. so that everyone, including young people, can learn more about this important history.”The app showcases an interactive map that aids users navigate their way through 17 locations with visuals, audio recordings, and synopses telling the stories of each landmark and the people connected to them.

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September 29, 2022

The Washington Informer: High Schoolers Launch D.C. Civil Rights Tour App

Two Washington, D.C.-area high school students have created an interactive app that highlights the history of civil rights in the District.Lily and Eliza Dorton, co-founders of the DC Civil Rights Tour app, have an instrument providing an easy way for residents and tourists to learn more about the civil rights movement in the city.The Dorton sisters, who attend the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda., Md., wanted to focus on places where African Americans challenged segregation and broke down barriers in the face of oppression.

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People are loving
DC Civil Rights Tour


The Civil Rights Tour of DC exemplifies the fight for civil rights through clear, impactful audio recordings. I love the accessibility and layout of each location and how easy it is to navigate the app!

Lisa B.

I really enjoyed the fluidity of the content in the app and how diligent it all is. The message behind the app is direct; its purpose is to educate on black people's civil oppression and
inequality during the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Tour of DC concisely reminds and educates the audience of that.

Martin M.

The tour/app is truly worth the time and an excellent recounting of history! All of the locations on the app connect to one another, whether it is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial or Lafayette Square Park. The historical content is captivating as the voice actor retells the story of several African Americans fighting for their rights in the nation's capital.

David R.

About the Creators

DC Civil Rights Tour App

Our names are Lily and Eliza Dorton, we are seventeen and fifteen years old, and have lived in Washington, D.C. our entire lives with our younger brother and parents. We are currently high school students at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. About a year or two ago, we realized that as young people living in the nation’s capital, there has never been any focus on the Civil Rights Movement in our city. We have been on countless field trips to landmark places such as the Smithsonian Museums or the National Mall, and learned about Civil Rights in our various school classes, but never specifically about it in our hometown of DC. We found it remarkable that no one in Washington had created a well-known tour specific to the Civil Rights Movement, and even more remarkable that we had not given it any thought before.

The two of us wanted to create a way for not only tourists but people who reside in the Washington area to learn about the complex, enthralling history of civil rights right here in Washington. There are numerous locations where civil rights leaders held meetings, resided, protested, and where black culture thrived in the 60s and 70s. We wanted to create a tour where everyone is able to educate themselves on DC’s past regarding Black Americans during a point in time when inequality was flooding the neighborhoods of DC.

Black people had to find a way to fight for and achieve equal rights at a time when it was nearly impossible to get their voices heard. The tour focuses on hidden locations that are not a part of the mainstream museums or tours you might go on in DC, but were significant to some during the Civil Rights Movement. We feel it is important as kids living in the DC area that educating people about both the good and bad history of this city is crucial to the new generations who may not get the opportunity to realize their city’s rich past.