About Us


About Heritage Empowered

We Take Full Responsibility for Delivering a Life Changing Experience!

Whether your interest is in learning more about the Civil Rights Era or learning more about it and visiting HBCU campuses, you can be sure that Heritage Empowered’s core mission is to provide our participants with a fun filled, accurate, authentic, educational experience.

At Heritage Empowered, we specialize in crafting a high-end, deeply researched active tours featuring the United States history of the Civil Rights movement, which is so important for us all today.

Our travelers seek out new experiences adventures and information. We help them view the movement by mixing authentic interactions, seamless logistics, and one-of-a-kind experiences into each day of the tour. Our travelers look to us to introduce them to the often untold history from an unvarnished perspective gained from museums, locations and speaking with those who lived through it.

The interactions between our travelers very often lead to lasting relationships.

The all-inclusive tour makes your experience effortless: pick up at the airport, settling into well-appointed hotels, heading off to destinations throughout the tour, is all managed for you.

Crafting the ultimate tour is about knowing firsthand what makes a place extraordinary, understanding how best to experience it and then finessing the countless details and moments. Nothing is left to chance.

Our deep, knowledgeable and understanding of the people, places, events, flexible pace, local connections, Luxury motor coach, authentic local restaurant selections are just a few of the reasons why our tours raise the bar.

So gather your friends, extended family, children, church family and even your work colleagues and join us on our journey through the Civil Rights or HBCU experience. Click below to see when we are scheduling our next tour.

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The Edmund Pettus Bridge, in Selma, Alabama was the scene of violent clashes as Martin Luther King led a march from Selma to Montgomery
The Edmund Pettus Bridge, in Selma, Alabama was the scene of violent clashes as Martin Luther King led a march from Selma to Montgomery
Experience Matters

Dr. Karen McCord

Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Karen McCord is a retired professor having taught Psychology, Social Science, and Ethnic Studies at Solano Community College (SCC), City College of San Francisco and American River College.

She earned her Doctorate Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Counseling, a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Relations and Organizational Behavior, and an Associate Degree in Ethnic Studies. Dr. McCord served on numerous college committees during her career including Basic Skills, Minority Coalition, Academic Success, Equity and Inclusion and Shared Governance. She also served as the Coordinator of Ethnic Studies as well as the Umoja Program Scholars. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Umoja Learning Community and Program at Solano Community College which continues as the gold standard for other colleges.

Requests from across the globe enable Dr. McCord to be a frequent presenter, facilitator, and consultant on issues of Cultural Competency, Sexual Harassment, Women’s Empowerment, Civil Rights, Mediation, Conflict Management and Peace, and Non-Violence.

​She has served as a consultant to a wide variety of corporations, government agencies, and community-based organizations, at the local and national levels. She has also been the recipient of numerous educational, church, and community awards for service in both academia and the community, including the Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award, NAACP Educator Award, AKA Sorority Community Service Award, Distinguished Faculty Recognition, Teacher of the Year. and A2MEND Leadership Award.

​Dr. McCord is the co-author of a book entitled “Transformations: Teen Mothers Journey to Success”. She has also written many articles. In 2008 she developed a Civil Rights course that has empowered over hundreds of individuals to obtain the first-hand experience of the civil rights era, through visits to key sites throughout the south and communications with civil rights leaders that were in attendance at the time. Participants return from the journey with knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the Civil Rights Era. It is indeed a life changing experience for all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Dr Karen McCord
Dr. Karen McCord
Experience Matters

Dr. Ella Clark-Tolliver

Dr. Ella Clark-Tolliver is the fourth of four children of a two-parent home. She holds a BA Degree in Psychology, MA degree in Counseling & Mental Health and a PhD in Education.

She is a retired Dean and Counselor from Solano College where she spent over 25 years. She always attested to the fact that she never worked a day in her career-but rather went to a place to share, interact with students and help direct their paths.

In 2000 she became the first African-American female to serve as Dean of Counseling and Disability Services at her College.

In 2013 she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. “Living the Dream” Lifetime Achievement Award from Solano College where she received acknowledgements from the California State Senate and Assembly; she also received recognition as one of the selected honorees of the Exceptional Woman of Excellence Award presented by the Sac Cultural Hub Media Foundation.

Dr. Ella Clark-Tolliver