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Civil Rights & Justice Tours of Washington DC

Updated: September 1, 2023

Washington DC has a long history of actions of fighting for civil rights. While we trying to incorporate a full view of land acknowledgment, black history, women's history and often overlooked aspects of any topic on all of our tours, we also offer tours that focus specifically on civil rights and justice.

We offer guided tours focusing in the history of civil rights in DC and discussion-based walks. DC by Foot has partnered with Justice Walks DC to offer tours of Washington DC neighborhoods through the lens of Civil Rights and Social Justice.


Civil Rights History in Washington DC

In Downtown DC, we see where the Freedom Riders first stepped on the bus, where the Matachine Society protested, and follow in the footsteps of suffragists.

This tour talks about how women, the LGTBQ+ community, and Black Americans marched and demanded to be heard. A history of protests and demonstrations in Washington, DC.

Gentrification of Georgetown

This tour takes our popular Historic Georgetown tour and explores the neighborhood with a keener eye towards Gentrification. Starting with the settlement of the Nacotchtank tribe to the 1950s Old Georgetown Act, we will visit parts of the neighborhood that were predominately black called Herring Hill, as well as an area that was mostly home to Catholic immigrants.

This tour covers a lot of the same ground as our Historic Georgetown tour, but is meant to be a deeper understanding of the neighborhood through the years.


Join Kate, a social justice educator, for a discussion about these neighborhoods and where available a chance to talk to community leaders and business owners.

NOTE: this is a tour that will discuss topics some may find controversial such as race, racism and economics. It is also a participatory, discussion-based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts. 

Displacement and Gentrification on H Street NE

H Street NE through the lens of Gentrification. Explore the interplay of historic Washington's rise through the struggles after the 1968 uprisings. Significant focus on how gentrification is playing out today in the neighborhood recently named as one of the "hippest" neighborhoods in the United States. 

Civil Rights Tour in DC

Capitol Hill (through a social justice lens)

This tour begins at Columbus status outside of Union Station, can be 2 hours and end at base of Capitol, or 3 hours and end at top Capitol hill/Union Station.
See major DC sites through a social justice lens- Explore Union Station looking at Christopher Columbus and First Nations of DC, the National Mall as a historic protest site, site of historic slave markets and the monument to Japanese American Internment. Begins at Union Station, ends at the National Mall or the top of Capitol Hill.  This is a participatory, discussion based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.
Georgetown's relationship to slavery and black displacement
Examine the role of slavery in Georgetown's origins and the vibrant black history in the area.  Special focus on the role of Georgetown University in local black history and student of color activism more recently. Begins at the John Carroll Statue on campus, ends just outside the front gates of Georgetown. This is a participatory, discussion-based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.  2 hours.  Can add on a visit to the Mount Zion historic black cemetery for an additional hour.
Adams Morgan: Diversity and Care for the Marginalized
Visualize the history of this eclectic neighborhood from the early days of embassies and large mansions to ongoing Latino community presence. Significant emphasis on the role of local churches, especially the Church of the Saviours role in preserving and serving in the community. Begins at Meridian Hill Park (16th and Euclid corner NW), ends on 18th street, the heart of Adams Morgan. This is a participatory, discussion based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.  2 hours.
St Mary's County: Historical Justice Lens
Visit Maryland’s First Capital through the lens of justice and marginalized history.  See where First Nations people lived and explore the impact of slavery historically and currently on the county. Discuss how the military base has impacted the community and current justice issues.  Begins on campus at St Mary’s College and ends at the African American Monument in Lexington Park. Note this tour is 3 hours and outside of Washington DC.    This is a participatory, discussion based tour. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences and thoughts.

About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Follow On Instagram | I'm a historian & tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. I have written for HuffPost Travel and have been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. I've also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. I am the producer of the podcast, Tour Guide Tell All. I am an authority on D.C. history, and have led tours in the city since 2011. I currently resides in DC, but have also lived in London and South Korea, and have traveled to over 28 countries and every US State but Hawaii. I homeschool my 2 children by exploring the plethora of museums in DC. Read More...
Updated: September 1st, 2023
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