In this class, students will identify issues in their local community, the national community, or international community that they would like to address and transform. Students have gained knowledge of the main roles of response and can now focus on how to implement strategies when choosing the human rights activist/upstander role.
● Can we envision change?
● Do we feel empowered to affect change?
Students will be able to:
● Visualize a human rights issue in the community that they would like to see resolved
● Begin to imagine how a human rights issue can be transformed
Common Core State Standards
Materials for Instructors
Opening Discussion (10 min.)
Use the opening discussion to remind students of their role-playing experiences from the last class. Refer to the MVP Glossary Board to remind students of the definitions of Perpetrator, Bystander, and Human Rights Activist/Upstander.
Entry point questions can include:
● Are there any memorable moments from the role-playing exercises that you have reflected on since the last class?
● Has any specific situation come up for you since the last class, and did you choose to take on the role of a human rights activist/upstander?
Tell students that in this class they will make a conscious choice to take on the role of a human rights activist/upstander and design a project that addresses an issue they feel is important to resolve in their local community, national community, or international community.
Visualizing Change & Short MVP Journal Entry (10-12 min.)
This activity begins with a visualization exercise to guide students to identify a human rights issue they care about and begin to imagine how to initiate positive potential outcomes specific to the issue. After they have identified an issue they will then begin to investigate steps to take toward resolving it.
● Explain that all change and all great projects begin with an idea.
● Share that we are going to use a creative technique called visualization to identify a human rights issue we care about and would like to change.
● Tell students we will then explore how to design a strategy to make that change happen.
Ask students to remain seated and close their eyes. If they are uncomfortable having their eyes closed they can pick a point on the floor or their desk to focus on. Students can fold their arms and put their heads on their desks.
Guide students through the visualization:
● Think of a human rights issue in your community, which can include your school, your neighborhood, your state, or a national or international issue that you would like to change. All of these communities are a part of our global community.
● Once you have identified the issue, take some time to look at it closely. You may even get a sense of what it feels like to be affected by this issue or how it makes others feel.
● Examine this issue from many sides.
○ Where does it take place?
○ Who does it negatively affect? Does someone benefit from another person being victimized or mistreated?
○ What is the cause of the issue?
● Now try to imagine what the human rights issue would look like if it was suddenly resolved.
○ If it is a polluted river, do you now see it clean and fresh?
○ If it is a problem of homelessness, do you now see people with homes and jobs?
○ If there is a corrupt dictatorship, do you now visualize a democratic government?
○ If it is an issue around gun violence, can you envision specific laws that might curtail the loss of innocent lives?
○ If it is an issue around gender equality, can you see a time when men and women receive equal pay?
● What is it like to see the human rights issue resolved?
○ Stay with this image. See how good it looks and feels.
○ Now, remember what it is truly like in reality.
○ Can you picture those two images side by side? Can you think of the two images as a “before” and “after”––the reality of the present and the possibility of a more positive future?
● Now we have to begin to come up with ideas about how to make the current picture become the picture of positive change.
○ For example, if it is a polluted river, what is needed to clean it?
● Think of different methods that can support your goal.
○ For example:
■ build a campaign
■ build public awareness through posters, a mural, etc.
■ write a newspaper article
■ gather like-minded people
Reflection and Sharing
If time permits, ask students to share their issues and ideas. Tell students that in the next class we will begin designing our project