Advancement Project is a useful resource for classrooms, independent studies, and other investigations in the realms of social justice and equity in the United States. Advancement Project partners with community organizers nationwide on campaigns such as Voter Protection, Reconstructing Justice Post-Katrina, and Quality Education for All, bringing communication tools and legal expertise to leverage local work. The organization’s website features the Community Justice Resource Center—a collection of newsletters, tools, funding sources, and more that can benefit students’ engagement in social justice matters.
Close Up Foundation
The Close Up Foundation offers instructor-guided Washington DC-based trips to middle and high school students aimed at engaging their civic energy and awareness. Students, teachers, and parents meet with members of Congress or Congressional staff members, discuss issues with policy experts, and talk with journalists about how the media shapes policy. The Close Up Foundation also offers a textbook, Current Issues, involves high school students in the production of a C-SPAN television show, and provides scholarship funds for students in need.
Known formerly as the Study Circles Resource Center, Everyday Democracy helps diverse members of communities to think, talk, and work together to solve problems. Everyday Democracy works with neighborhoods, cities, towns, regions, and states to help communities pay attention to how racism and ethnic differences affect the problems they address. Everyday Democracy’s resources on transforming dialogue into change include facilitation and discussion guides and stories of successful community conversations, organization, and action. Some resources are available in Spanish.
First Amendment Schools
First Amendment Schools: Educating for Freedom and Responsibility is “a national reform initiative designed to transform how schools teach and practice the rights and responsibilities of citizenship that frame civic life in our democracy.” Essential schools are well represented among First Amendment Schools’ Project and Affiliate K-12 schools. The website offers an ample resources section, a helpful start for all educators and students investigating democratic participation.
Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching
Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching, published by Teaching for Change and the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, provides lessons and articles for K-12 educators on how to go beyond a “heroes approach” to the civil rights movement in the southern United States in the second half of the 20th century. The book features sections on education, labor, citizenship, culture, and reflections on teaching about the civil rights movement, and includes interactive and interdisciplinary lessons, readings, images, and interviews. The accompanying website provides sample lessons beyond those included in the book, examples of classroom use, and additional resources designed to engage students’ sense of personal power in creating positive change in their world.
Teaching for Change: www.teachingforchange.org
Poverty & Race Research Action Council: www.prrac.org
“Democracy and Equity: CES’s Tenth Common Principle” Horace Volume 14, Number 3, January, 1998.
“Democratic Leadership in Coalition Schools” Horace Volume 18, Number 3, Spring 2002
“Using Advocacy and Communication to Create and Sustain Essential Schools” Horace Volume 21, Number 4, Fall 2005