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Social Movements

Lessons and Resources

Despite the Fourteenth Amendment's promise of equal opportunity, marginalized groups in the United States have fought long, uphill battles for the rights to which they are entitled and young people have fought for and rebelled against oppression and the status quo.  The resources in this section spotlight a few of the movements to bring about change for Black Americans and the LGBTQ+ community in the United States, as well as examining efforts to protect free speech and human rights on college campuses and rethink the meaning of American democracy.  These materials, representing events from 1960 to today, have important ties to the present and can all be used to make students think about their own agency and ability to be a part of the change they want to see.

The Atlanta Sit Ins

Lesson exploring the Atlanta Sit-In movement and civil rights advocacy in Georgia in the 21st century.

Atlanta Student Movement: A Comparative Perspective

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Vietnam War

Lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speeches on and opposition to the Vietnam War; references clips from the documentary “King in the Wilderness.”

“King in the Wilderness”

The Port Huron Statement and the New Left

Lesson examining themes in the Port Huron Statement.  Includes observations from the SDS members who wrote it as they celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.

Teaching the Port Huron Statement in the Twenty First Century

Stonewall and the Movement for LGBTQ+ Rights

Lesson that situates Stonewall as a turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and asks students to evaluate events and protests before and after the Stonewall Riots.

LGBTQ+ Activism in the Mid-20th Century

Free Speech at Berkeley

This lesson introduces students to the 1964 Free Speech Movement and challenges students to consider recent events at Berkeley in the context of what Mario Savio and other FSM activists accomplished.

Should Free Speech Be Absolute on College Campuses?

Racism and Police Brutality in the United States

Resources exploring the history of police brutality in the United States, Black leaders' reactions to systemic racism in the mid-twentieth century, and the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in the spring and summer of 2020.

Racism and Police Brutality in the United States