I would be happy for you to share my positive experiences with the Social Justice Unit during our online learning practices due to COVID-19.
In response to what materials really resonated with my students, there were so many options that helped my students forget about being sheltered in place and instead
reminded them of the larger issues that they will have to recognize and offer solutions as part of our society. Some of the things that my 7th and 8th grade students (as part of
our Montessori practice, we have blended age groups) specifically responded to was the Javon Johnson video “Cuz He's Black.” Their perspectives varied as people who
had seen or been exposed to similar situations, to students who'd read books that connected to the concept of racism, as well as the students who made political
connections. I was surprised at their maturity in making connections and how they felt regarding our government leadership using racial/sexual slurs and getting away with it.
The students also related to the essay by Jordan Womack, “If you think racism doesn’t exist.” I think they were shocked by the reality of Jordan’s experiences as well as the
experiences of some of their classmates. My students responded with such compassion and a sense of duty to ensure that discrimination due to any factor needed to be
stopped. Most of my feedback to them reminded them that they were our agents of change and that they truly are our future.
Last, but not least, the videos by Black Eyed Peas, “Where is the Love?” seemed to make them think about our society at the present time, as well as its past and the future.
I can’t say enough about how this unit brought us all together at a time when we were far apart physically. I am definitely planning on using this unit again next year.
Thank you so much for providing these materials. They are relevant today and also timeless. They provoked deeper thought from my students as well as myself. There are
truly no words that can fully express the benefits my students experienced.