Communities are not built of friends, or of groups of people with similar styles and tastes, or even of people who like and understand each other. They are built of people who feel they are part of something that is bigger than themselves: a shared goal or enterprise, like righting a wrong, or building a road, or raising children, or living honorably, or worshipping a god. To build community requires only the ability to see value in others; to look at them and see a potential partner in one’s enterprise.
How does Suzanne Goldsmith define community? What are some communities that you are a member of?
Are the ideas of community and democracy related?
Is community possible without democracy? Is democracy possible without community?
Often, images reveal more about a complex idea than a definition that relies only on words does. What would a picture of a community look like? What might an image of democracy look like? How are they similar? How are they different?
1 Suzanne Goldsmith, A City Year (New Press, 1993), 277.
Students explore the potential negative impact of images through the social media protest #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and develop a decision-making process for choosing imagery to represent controversial events.
Students examine how identity and biases can impact how individuals interpret images and experience the challenge of selecting images to represent news events, particularly connected to sensitive issues.
Students establish a safe space for holding sensitive conversations, before introducing the events surrounding Ferguson, by acknowledging people's complicated feelings about race and creating a classroom contract.
Students explore the role of social media in Ferguson, apply information verification strategies to social media posts, and develop strategies for becoming critical consumers and sharers of social media.
Students evaluate the differences among news accounts about Ferguson, develop strategies for verifying news and information, and understand the challenges facing journalists as they cover complex, fast-moving events.
Help students become informed and effective civic participants in today's digital landscape. This unit is designed to develop students' critical thinking, news literacy, civic engagement, and social-emotional skills and competencies.