All 10th Grade students explored social justice and activist movements, investigating current and historical societal issues, activist interventions, and the lasting impact of a human movement on our global community. Their two essential questions were 1) How does one empower the powerless? and 2) How powerful is a single voice? After choosing an activist to focus upon, students conducted targeted research and collaborated in pairs to write an artist statement which identified the social movement their activist was a part of, explained how their activist intervened and lastly, analyzed their activist’s impact. Finally, students created string art portraits to accompany their written piece. The exhibition took place at Freshly Faded Barber Shop, a forum dedicated to community activism and social change.
It was our goal for students to create art with a technique that was new to them, and to devise ways to incorporate different perspectives for very pertinent historical topics. As the project was conducted, it was amazing to see the collaborative process that took place between both teachers and students. Whether the students were researching, crafting their artist statements, or creating their string art portraits, they worked as a team, communicated well, and relied upon each other to accomplish something to the best of their abilities. Students walked away with a more insightful perspective with regard to social justice and activism, and were looking for ways to put into practice and utilize their new mindsets.
I have a better understanding of how activists shape our world and was able to make beautiful work that truly honors them.
Because of this project, I was able to understand those who ignite social change, the power behind activist movements, and ways that communities come together to accomplish a single goal.
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