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Standing Up Against Discrimination

Help students identify acts of discrimination and explore ways to safely stand up against discrimination. You will need chart paper, markers and the Don’t Discriminate worksheet. See web link: http://bit.ly/dontdiscriminate123
Have students pretend that someone made the decision that everyone who is wearing sneakers today will not be allowed to eat lunch in the cafeteria (or perhaps will be allowed to eat in some other location on campus that is desirable to students, i.e., outside).

1. Discuss answers to the following with a partner:
* In this situation, how would you feel if you were wearing sneakers?
* Is it reasonable for someone to decide where people can eat lunch based on what they’re wearing?
* What if it was decided that only students who were wearing boots could eat in the desired location, and you were wearing boots but your best friend wasn’t?
* What feelings would you have?

2. As a class, discuss the following:
* If you were the one being discriminated against, what would you do?
* What would you do if you saw another person being discriminated against?
A stranger? A classmate? A friend?

3. Now read Don’t Discriminate to learn about real-life examples of discrimination and how people stood up against it. What are some other ways they could safely stand up against discrimination?

4. Check out the website above for more ideas, like…
* In small groups, write skits illustrating
1) an act of discrimination and
2) how people stand up against it.
Perform the skits.
* In large or small group, ask students to create a shared record of their reactions to this experience, without speaking. Provide chart paper, a blank wall mural or the chalkboard. Each records a thought, feeling or question with written words or images. More than one person may write at a time. Once everyone has had a chance to contribute, dialogue about what it reveals. They may draw lines to connect related comments and answers to questions.

Source: Teaching Tolerance, A project of the Southern Law Poverty Center

CRE Calendar Usage: 3rd Edition