Social Justice Projects by 5th and 6th grade Students at Jubilee School
The first group, now in college, will present a project in which they organized a Civil Rights celebration to honor veterans of the Civil Rights Movement, planned a campaign against gun violence, spoke in schools, presented at a Small Arms Conference at the United Nations, and created a documentary film called "Walls and Doors: Inspirations framer Elders". The second group, now in high school, spent a year studying the history of Haiti and wrote and illustrated a book about their study. They also wrote a Declaration of Principles, modeled on Du Bois' Declaration. The third group, now in middle school, will present a campaign against police brutality, which they called "Songs of the Children: an Album of Voices for Justice" because they decided to use poetry as their language of resistance. As part of their campaign, they researched and wrote about the 1985 bombing of MOVE headquarters. Five students decided to apply for a State historical marker to document the atrocity by the city. Their application was approved, and they led a community unveiling ceremony, replete with poetry.
Students will present their projects, and a discussion between students, teachers and fellow attendees will follow. The discussion will focus on such questions as what kinds of questions encourage students to come up with ideas around resisting injustice; what kind of foundation needs to be laid in order for these kinds of discussions to take place; what are issues that attendees face in their communities that are of concern to students, and how can teachers balance the demands of their curriculum with the freedom to take off with student led projects.
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