Providing Classroom-Integrated Opportunities for Civic and Social Action

  • Encouraging students to volunteer as poll workers on Election Day;
  • Registering voters in the community;
  • Organized an “Advocacy and Organizing in DC—Oral History Project” for all the 12th graders at Cesar Chavez School of Public Policy (Capitol Hill campus) as part of their required D.C. History class. I won a $3,000 grant from The Humanities Council of Washington for the project. Link to Hill Rag article about this project. Students interviewed and video-documented 25 local community activists on videotape on the following. Afterwards, the students widely reported feeling inspired to create social change, and that they now saw Blacks, Latinos, youth, and the LGBT not as “victims” but rather as active agents of change:
    • How they built relationships (political power),
    • How they accessed resources (economic power),
    • How they utilized identity & values to unify & mobilize (cultural power), and
    • How they persevered despite additional or persistent challenges
  • Organized countless student “advocacyships” with local grassroots advocacy and activism organizations for students at both public charter and independent schools. These 10-hour “advocacyships” included mentorship and direct participation in advocacy or activism, in addition to some hours providing services to the organization.

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