Civil Rights

June 11, 2018

This lesson uses current civil disobedience actions by the Poor People's Campaign as an invitation to explore why people engage in civil disobedience. Students consider the goals, pros and cons, and risks of this type of action through small group discussion, video, and other methods.  (Also see thi...

September 24, 2017

Critics charge that the real goal of a new federal commission to investigate voter fraud is to justify efforts to make it more difficult for people of color to vote.  Students learn about and discuss the controversy.  

May 16, 2016

In this lesson, students learn about the controversy over new federal guidelines aimed at ensuring that "transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment." Students explore their own responses to it, and discuss how they can make their school welcoming to transgender...

March 8, 2015

Students learn about and discuss  the US Department of Justice's report on the Ferguson Police Department and consider reforms that would address the injustices described in the report.   

November 25, 2014

In this circle activity, students share their thoughts and feelings about events in Ferguson and reflect on a quote about protest from Martin Luther King Jr.

May 27, 2014

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. In this lesson, students explore the interplay of this legislation with the Civil Rights Movement, and consider what role everyday people play in making change.

April 29, 2014

This lesson consists of two student readings followed by discussion questions. The first reading reviews the history of the Freedom Summer project, which took place 50 years ago. The second reading discusses some of the challenges to voting rights that we face today. 

November 7, 2011

Readings and activities on wartime threats to civil liberties, the history of such threats, and the Constitutional basis for civil liberties.

June 30, 2011

After discussing the news from New York, students explore how the bill came to be passed - including the strategies and personal experiences that influenced legislators' decisions.

September 8, 2010

A student reading provides an excerpt from Judge Walker's ruling that California's Prop 8 is unconstitutional and describes competing opinions on gay marriage. A critical thinking activity follows.