Resistance 101: Activists for Social Justice


As a part of Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, high school students at EL Haynes Public Charter High School, learned about social justice activists. They used the Teaching for Change lesson Resistance 101.

Griffin Pepper, who teaches Government/Civics and AP Government, asked the students to list activists they had already heard of. Their responses reflect the good work they’ve been doing all year to learn outside the textbook.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Emma Gonzalez
the Black Panther Party
Angela Davis

Assata Shakur
W.E.B Du Bois
Malcolm X
Jimmie Lee Jackson

John Lewis
Harvey Milk
Alicia Garza
And more.


One student went into detail about the story of Jimmie Lee Jackson, and how his death highlighted the fight for voting rights.

Pepper then led his students through a discussion of terms such as strike, boycott, and community grassroots organizing. Students defined the differences between the terms and came up with examples of each.  

Students each received a bio of an activist for social justice. They were instructed to read their bios, underline key terms, and (in role) ask each other the following questions:  

How would you identify yourself
What issues do you care about?
What strategies did you use to protest/resist

In the debrief of the lesson, students listed people they wanted to learn more about, including: Bob Moses, Linda Sarsour, Paul Robeson, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Winona LaDuke, and Bayard Rustin.

Tue2019Mykella Palmer