To understand the Civil Rights era in a modern sense, juniors in Ms. Jessica Kelly’s US History classes will be presenting a comparison of different social justice movements on Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12.
“I would want to do the Disabled Rights Movement if I were in the students position,” Kelly said. “My second choice would be the Women’s Liberation Movement, but I’ve studied it too much and know too much, and I don’t know the Disabled Rights Movement well. I’ve learned that they’re the largest minority group. It doesn’t matter what gender, race, ethnicity you are, it affects everyone.”
To choose a movement, students raised their hands after Kelly announced each option. This was to allow students to work on something they were interested in without worrying about if their friends wanted it.
“This was very uncomfortable for me because I’m not really fond of reaching out to people who I don’t know,” junior Teya Perez. “Usually that’s because I’m scared if they’ll have a bad perception of me. This was different than other projects, one because I had to interview an outside person and two was because it’s not a standard research project that I’m fond of.”
Along with researching their topic, juniors were required to interview someone involved in their chosen movement during the Civil Rights era and an individual in the Social Justice era. Students are also required to do an hour of volunteering which will be due after the project, to allow for more work time.
“I chose to do my volunteer hour by interviewing a Senior Air Quality specialist for Clark County,” junior Samer Youssouf said. “The interview went great as the specialist went in depth on the pros and cons on how we can protect the environment. It allowed me to understand that in every movement, not everyone will agree and not everyone will do what’s best, because I learned some environmentalists hurt the environment as well.”
Instead of students presenting to Kelly and the class, a gallery walk will be carried out to explain the movements to other teachers and students.
“It’s important to learn about the Civil Rights Movement because it allows us to understand the discrimination everyone faced,” Kelly said. “I don’t understand why people want to stay ignorant. In class we watched Emmett Till and we know what happens when people are ignorant. In that case, when people are ignorant, children die. I wanted to provide relevancy and I wanted students to understand the movements around them now In the end, I want students to learn to be activists and help their communities.”
What movement would you be interested in?