The first African-American woman to own and publish a newspaper, The Eagle (later, The California Eagle), Charlotta Bass was a tireless advocate for social change and one of the most influential African-Americans of the 20th century.
Based in Los Angeles, Bass utilized the newspaper as a platform to address issues of race and gender equality, police brutality, and media stereotyping in an era when women and African-Americans were largely being excluded from public discourse.
In 1995, Azim Khamisa's 20-year-old son, Tariq, was delivering a pizza when he was shot to death by a 14-year-old gang member. Experiencing the pain, grief, frustration, and anger that a parent would, Azim decided that the only way he could better the situation was to use the tool of FORGIVE to ensure that this type of tragedy happens less frequently in the future.
Palo Alto High School student Kevin Ward challenges the stereotype of African-Americans as "gangsters," and says that "smart is the new gangster." The 16-year-old is working to bridge the achievement gap for students of color, through the school's Unity Club and a program called Bridge, connecting students from affluent Palo Alto and East Palo Alto, a neighboring low-income community.
This lesson addresses the following SEL strategies. You can have students look for these issues and examine them in themselves.
Each year, Facing History teacher Jane Wooster asks the students in her classes to take on a "social action" project of their own choosing. This year, several of the students have chosen to conduct a lunch-time demonstration to draw attention to the use of the word "illegal" to describe undocumented immigrants, and start a school-wide conversation about the way immigrants are perceived in their community.
Leaders of One Mississippi, a student group devoted to bridging racial and social barriers at the University of Mississippi, bring students together for a dialogue meeting about their hopes and fears for the organization.
This is a DVD extra from the PBS program, Not In Our Town: Class Actions. For more information on the film, visit niot.org/ClassActions
Though the political landscape has changed since the Civil Rights era, Martin Luther King Jr's dream that this country would fulfill its promise of equality has yet to become reality. But Dr. King’s work showed this country that change is possible, and the communities in Embracing the Dream: Lessons from the Not In Our Town Movement are living proof that change is happening—town by town, school by school.