Shout Out for Change

Visit Washington DC for meaningful conversations of Diplomacy, The First Amendment, and Religious Freedoms, all while visiting D.C.’s most significant sites and hearing inspiring stories from local business owners including the performing arts, culinary arts, and more. This tour, its workshops, and conversations, offer thoughtful insight to help each participant learn how to listen, think, and communicate better, so we not only participate in positive personal change, but we also learn how we can each create positive change around us.

7 Days /6 Nights

Group size

Estimated Tour Pricing Inclusions: 6 nights’ accommodation; 6 breakfasts; 5 lunches; 6 dinners; admissions, entrance, and guide fees as stated in the itinerary, including taxes, and gratuity. Except gratuity for guide fees is not included on adult tours unless otherwise requested.
  • The United States Institute of Peace
  • Monument Visits
    • Washington Monument
    • WWII Memorial
    • Vietnam Wall
    • Korean Memorial
    • Lincoln Memorial
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
    • FDR Memorial
  • D.C.’s Black History Tour
    • Meridian Park (AKA: Malcolm X Park)
    • Freedom Plaza
    • The Willard Hotel
    • African American Civil War Memorial and Museum
    • Drive through the Shaw Neighborhood
    • Thurgood Marshall Center
    • Historic Twelfth Street YMCA
    • Howard University
    • Lincoln Theatre, originally known as "Black Broadway"
  • Martin Luther King Library
  • Illuminated Monument Tour
  • Cedar Hill, Home of Frederick Douglass
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • The National Archives and Records Administration
  • Mount Vernon
  • Holocaust Museum

Sample Itinerary:
  • Begin your journey in the Nation’s Capital with a visit to The United States Institute of Peace, a national, nonpartisan, and independent institute founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., USIP pursues its mission by linking research, policy, training, analysis, and directive action to support those who are working to build a more peaceful, inclusive world.
  • Get to know the U.S. Institute of Peace and its work abroad to resolve conflicts without violence in a 1-hour interactive program hosted at the institute by USIP staff. You’ll learn about the Institute, its history, as well as discuss themes of peace and conflict and what it takes to build peace.
  • Afterwards, walk the Peace Trail on the National Mall, on a downloadable self-guided walking tour which brings a “peace lens” experience of visiting by elevating stories of key figures, institutions, and moments in history demonstrating America’s enduring commitment to peace.
  • Walk from the Washington Monument, through the WWII Memorial, and on to the Vietnam Wall.  Also see the Korean, the Lincoln, the Martin Luther King, Jr., and the FDR Memorials.
  • Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a local favorite restaurant before departing and checking in to your hotel for the evening.  (D)
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Begin your adventure today with a tour of D.C.’s Black History.  See and visit such famous sites as: Meridian Park, (AKA: Malcolm X Park) a  12-acre urban park including a cascading fountain, statues, a relaxing and family friendly atmosphere, and a tradition of Sunday drum circles; Freedom Plaza, a popular site for local events and political protests in Washington, DC. It is located along Pennsylvania Avenue, adjacent to Pershing Park and just a few blocks from the White House; The Willard Hotel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the finishing touches to his, “I Have A Dream” speech; visit the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, which uses photographs, documents, and state of the art audio/visual equipment to help visitors understand the African American’s heroic and largely unknown struggle for freedom and civil rights; drive through the Shaw Neighborhood and see: the Thurgood Marshall Center, located in the historic Twelfth Street YMCA building, the former home of the first full service YMCA for African Americans in the nation. It was designed by one of the nation's first African-American architects, W. Sidney Pittman, son-in-law of Booker T. Washington; Howard University, one of the most prestigious, historically black universities in the country; and Lincoln Theatre, originally known as “Black Broadway” between 1920 and 1950.
  • Enjoy lunch included at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Virginia Ali started the restaurant with her husband Ben when she was only 24.  On August 22, 2020, Ben’s Chili Bowl turned 62. Ben’s is a celebration of DC’s African American history, culture, and character.  It’s a celebration of the city and U Street’s resilience. DC’s residents have a long history of bouncing back from hard times. The Black community is front and center in this story and Ben’s is a perfect case study – a study in the quest of freedom & its ongoing re-definition.
  • Visit the newly reopened & renovated Martin Luther King Library for a set of 2 one-hour long workshops, “Introduction to The First Amendment” and “Religious Freedoms”.  Your Freedom Forum Workshop leader will engage in intriguing dialogue about the First Amendment, and Religious Freedoms, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance.”  Learn how the vehicle for change begins in the churches, to the March on Washington, and continues to this day.
  • Next, see the First Amendment Plaque on Pennsylvania Avenue and then to Black Lives Matter Plaza.  Before it was renamed, Black Lives Matter Plaza was already a gathering place for activists, largely because of its proximity to the White House.  While some see it as a place of unity and hope, others think that giving the plaza too much attention distracts from larger issues. Your tour leader will guide you through thoughtful conversation and discussion of different views regarding renaming the plaza.
  • Enjoy an included dinner before an Illuminated Monument Tour to include a walk through of the Kennedy Center, built in memory and honor of our 35th President, John F. Kennedy who took vigorous action in the cause of equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. His vision of America extended to the quality of the   national culture and the central role of the arts in a vital society. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II. See the famous bust of Kennedy in the grand foyer and visit the terrace for an amazing view of the city, its beautiful monuments, and buildings illuminated at night. (B, L, D)

  • After breakfast at the hotel this morning, visit Cedar Hill, Home of Frederick Douglass, who was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement, becoming famous for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. Accordingly, he was described by abolitionists in his time as a living counter example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens.  Douglass wrote several autobiographies, notably describing his experiences as a slave in his ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave’, which became a bestseller, and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition, as was his second book, ‘My Bondage and My Freedom’.
  • Next, stop at Lincoln Park to see two statues: one of Abraham Lincoln and the other Mary McLeod Bethune, and discuss their significance before spending the remainder of the day at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, (NMAAHC), the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members.
  • This evening, enjoy dinner, a presentation, and a discussion from Capital Bop. In their 10th year, Capital Bop’s mission is to promote, preserve, and present the African American Jazz Community in DC, and to make Jazz accessible to all.  Enjoy a brief presentation about Capitol Bop prior to enjoying some live Jazz! Return to your hotel for the evening. (B, L, D)
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before departing to tour The National Museum of American Diplomacy, the first museum in the nation dedicated to telling the stories of American diplomacy. Its mission is to inspire discovery of how American diplomacy shapes the United States’ prosperity and security and aims to engage students and educators through the Center's education programs and curricula. Working in small teams, participants step into the world of diplomacy by representing the interests of a specific stakeholder group.  Under set time constraints, the groups are challenged to negotiate a solution to an international crisis. Using the information provided in the simulation materials, they develop, defend, and modify their group's policy positions in real time.
  • This afternoon visit Duke Ellington School for the Arts for an informational session. Starting young, learning in a disciplined yet improvisational manner, flourishing in a tough world, developing a lifelong network of fruitful relationships—all these accomplishments are represented in the life of the composer, bandleader, and Washington, DC native, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington. His are the qualities the school has worked to instill in graduates since the Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded over forty years ago. It supports four core areas including best practices, college and career pathways, elementary and middle school arts, and leadership. Members represent art leaders, schools, and organizations from around the world. Exemplary School designation is issued to individual schools in recognition of excellence in their efforts to evaluate strategically their purpose, operations, and educational programs.
  • Next, enjoy “Let’s Eat Cake!”, a Cake-wich Craft Bake Shop presented by Aleatra Dimitrijevski, Owner.  Dinner is included this evening, but why not eat dessert first?!  Return to the hotel for the night.  (B, L, D)

  • After breakfast at the hotel this morning, depart on a journey to learn how our government functions and how voices are heard. Tour the Capitol Building while we dive into discussions to learn how our system of  Government works: Congress, being the legislative branch of the federal government represents the American people and makes the nation's laws. It shares power with the executive branch, led by the President, and the judicial branch, whose highest body is the Supreme Court of the United States. Of the three branches of government, Congress is the only one elected directly by the people.  Article I, (the longest article of the Constitution) describes congressional powers. Congress has the power to: Make laws; declare war; raise and provide public money and oversee its proper expenditure; impeach and try federal officers; Approve presidential appointments; approve treaties negotiated by the executive branch; and general oversight and investigations.
  • Next, tour the Library of Congress, the research library officially serving the United States Congress and the de facto national library of the United States, and The Supreme Court, the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America. The Court holds the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution, or to strike down presidential directives for violating either the Constitution or statutory law. Discuss a few Court cases and rulings with significant impacts on our civil liberties.
  • Visit The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent agency of the United States government charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records. The Archives is officially responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential directives, and federal regulations. The National Archives publicly exhibits the Charters of Freedom which include: the United States Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, United States Bill of Rights, and many other historical documents.  Late this afternoon, visit Ford’s Theatre, the site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After being shot, the fatally wounded 56-year old Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen House, where he died the next morning.  Discuss the Assassination Conspiracy and the final court findings of Lincoln’s Assassination. 
  • Enjoy dinner included this evening prior to returning to the hotel for the night. (B, L, D)

  • Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, depart to tour Arlington National Cemetery. No land in American is more sacred than this square mile. It is America’s shrine to valor and sacrifice. This is the final resting place for many notable Americans, war heroes, presidents, influencers, and home to the Tomb of the Unknowns which speaks of a nation’s debt to the many whose ultimate sacrifice helped make a nation free. Many African Americans are buried here including 17 Medal of Honor Recipients, educators, scientists, men of medicine, Civil Rights leaders, including Thurgood Marshall, Supreme Court Justices, and Tuskegee Airmen.
  • Depart and explore Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation where 318 enslaved people worked sun up to sun down in bondage to Washington who profited from this system of enslavement throughout his life.  See where they worked and lived and gain insight into their duties, what they ate, how they were clothed, how they established families, and the penalties for their resistance during a Guided “Hear Their Personal Stories” Tour.
  • Learn about Ona Judge, Martha Washington’s lady’s maid, who escaped to freedom from the President’s Mansion in Philadelphia; William Lee, George Washington’s valet, who served with him during the Revolutionary War; Hercules, a favorite cook of the Washington family, and one of the few enslaved people who escaped during Washington’s lifetime.
  • Immediately following this tour, accompany the guide down to participate in a moving tribute at the Slave Memorial and Cemetery. The 1983 Memorial comprises three circles, symbolizing faith, hope, and love.  A boxwood wreath is placed at the Memorial, while individual enslaved people’s histories are recounted.
  • This evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner in Colonial Old Town Alexandria and a Guided Walking Tour of this historic town.  Return to the hotel for the evening. (B, L, D)

  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel prior to checking out.
  • Stop and visit the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, a national memorial dedicated to the tragic events which occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. All 184 lives lost in the attack on the Pentagon are represented by “Memorial Unit” benches. Surrounding the benches are 85 Crape Myrtles and the Age Wall, which grows one inch in height per year relative to the ages of the victims.
  • Drive by The Pentagon, the headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense.
  • Visit the United States Holocaust Museum, a living memorial to the Holocaust, the museum provides a powerful lesson in the fragility of freedom, the myth of progress, and the need for vigilance in preserving democratic values as well as inspiring citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. With unique power and authenticity, the Museum teaches millions of people each year about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the need to prevent genocide.
  • The Institute for Holocaust Education works closely with many key segments of society who will affect the future of our nation. By studying the choices made by individuals and institutions during the Holocaust, professionals from the fields of law enforcement, the judiciary, and the military, as well as diplomacy, medicine, education, and religion, gain fresh insight into their own responsibilities today.
  • Enjoy lunch on own prior to departing for home. (B)

Base rate does not include motor coach transportation, airfare, airport transfers, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, (student groups exempt) or any upgrades or add-ons unlisted from itinerary as stated. Pricing may vary based on day of arrival or other conditions. Personalized itineraries with custom pricing and/or additional transportation can be created and added based on client needs and upon client’s request. MARS will customize quotes or personalize itineraries for FREE.

Click 'PDF' below for a Sample Itinerary:            

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