To honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, Brewster faculty members participated in a “Teach-In” January 25 and 26, 2021. Working with Director of Equity and Inclusion Melissa Lawlor, faculty members designated the two days to engage in conversations and lessons planned around issues pertaining to social justice.
“I am really proud of the breadth of the lessons the faculty has planned and the conversations our students will engage in over the next few days,” Lawlor said on the eve of the Teach-In. “We have an opportunity to reflect upon and carry forward Dr. King's legacy; I hope these two days inspire us to think deeply about the ways in which we can lean into discomfort, reach across divides, and create real change in our communities.”
Here are the topics, texts, and issues Bobcats tackled together in the MLK Teach-In 2021:
Film Appreciation: Selma
Studio Art: Collective Art and Action
Yearbook: Using Your Camera to Tell a Story (students reviewed photography like this from the Black Lives Matter movement)
Creative Discoveries: Social Identities (the class discussed the question “How does the work we do in this class learning about social identifiers relate to MLK's mission and our place in the greater context of the world?”)
Photography: “Charles Moore: I Fight with My Camera” (studying Civil Rights photographer Charles Moore)
Drama: Theater and storytelling as activism
Yoga: Ahimsa as a force for change
Social and Emotional Learning:
I Have a Dream: Turning Words into Action
Topics in the English Department included The Poetry of Racial Injustice, Images of the Civil Rights movement and the Summer of 2020, "Supposed to Sound:" Inflections against Hegemonic Language, Finding Zora: How Research Led Alice Walker to Revive a Celebration of Zora Neale Hurston’s Work, and George Floyd-One Man Called the World to Action. In the AP Literature class, students reviewed Using Historical Perspective to Analyze Poetry: A Tribute to Billie Holiday by Rita Dove.
Do racial justice and science intersect? Most definitely. In Brewster’s sciences classrooms, students and faculty handles topics including How Science Got Race Wrong, The Percy Julian Story, The Impact of Dams on Indigenous Communities, Coronavirus Case Studies: High-risk COVID-19 populations, and the story of Henrietta Lacks
Psychology: A Class Divided and The Doll Experiment
Current Issues: Analyzing the Fair Housing Act of 1968
Ancient History: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Where are the Women?
Modern World History: From Martin Luther to Martin Luther King, Jr: Connecting the Reformation to the Civil Rights Movement
U.S. History: The Lost Story of the Clotilda
AP U.S. History: 1861 vs. 2021
Again, one may not think of math as having a role in the fight for social justice, but our students analyzed patterns and predictions of racial injustice, discussing the question “Is racial injustice periodic?” They also dug into the Power of Data and Racial Disparities.
An essay review: "Martin Luther King Jr., a timely leader"
Understanding the Confederate flag and its connection to white supremacy
Martin Luther King, Jr. & Leadership
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
“The Other America”
Spanish 1: Immersion: A Day in the Life
Spanish 2: Rigoberta Menchú, feminist and human rights activism
Spanish 4: Mexico and the borders—what it means to be an immigrant
Spanish 5: Bolivia and their fight for clean water. Human rights vs. big corporations
French 1 & 2: Toussaint Louverture and Haitian Independence
French 3, 4, & 5: Identity in Question: The Effects of French Colonization on African Immigrants in France
ESL Culture: I Have a Dream
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