In this interdisciplinary project, students examined data and readings to explore the ways in which our invisible privileges impact our opportunities and experiences in this society. Our goal was for students to learn to be more understanding and empathetic individuals who better understand the complex power structures we face. We launched our project with a walking field trip downtown to observe inequities that exist in our own city. During the next six weeks, students examined income inequality, gender inequality, and inequities in our education and criminal justice systems. Students then specialized in one of these topics in preparation for our exhibition, making infographics and designing interactive activities in order to share statistics and trends. For our culminating event, we hosted a symposium in the local community where students, parents, and community members engaged in meaningful conversations about race, gender, education, and income inequality.
This project engaged our students in difficult conversations about inequities in society. Our goal was to expose students to new ideas and challenge them to consider perspectives different than their own. This created moments of discomfort at times, but we wanted students to be comfortable with their discomfort. With this project we planted a “seed” that will hopefully lead to further questioning and exploration by students as they encounter these topics as adults.
Unlike a lot of projects that do not leave lasting impressions, I believe that this project left a lasting impression on both the audience and the students. I know for a fact that I put myself in a lot of perspectives that I have never even considered before. Without opening yourself up to situations in which you might not feel completely comfortable, you will never have progression in your beliefs.
—From anonymous survey
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