The USC Shoah Foundation next week will launch an online initiative, “100 Days to Inspire Respect,” to provide middle and high school teachers resources to help students tackle such topics as hate, racism, intolerance and xenophobia.
Modeled after the aggressive 100-day agenda initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he took office in 1933, the initiative will run from Jan. 20 through April 29.
During those 100 days, the Education Department at the USC Shoah Foundation will release a new activity, mini lesson or another resource each day on the IWitness website, based on testimony from the institute’s Visual History Archive.
Each of the 14 weeks will center on a theme, starting with countering hate, and continuing in the following order: racism; civil and human rights; community; respect; intolerance; women/women’s rights/; immigrant/refugees; cross-cultural understanding; courage; violence and violent extremism; indifference through media; resilience; and civic responsibility.
We will offer 100 Days to Inspire Respect starting Jan. 20, 2017. A collection of 100 resources for teachers. https://t.co/nWgqhEo27W
— USC Shoah Foundation (@USCShoahFdn) December 21, 2016
“The projects will variously have students producing videos, poems, images and word clouds, as well as developing skills such as comparison-and- contrast analysis and close reading of text,” according to the foundation. “All of the resources are grounded in clips of testimony from survivors of genocide — the logical conclusion of unchecked hatred, racism and intolerance.”
The shortest activities can be completed in 15 minutes with no teacher prep work required; the longest, a week.
“Hatred comes from stories, and so we are countering hatred with stories,” said Kori Street, director of education at USC Shoah Foundation. “If I know your story, if I know who you are, it makes it really hard for me to `otherize’ you, be divisive, or hate you.”
The first week will feature an activity that invites teachers to show and discuss a four-minute video called “What is hate?” It references the Nazis’ extermination of Jews during World War II and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, but also touches on modern narratives of hate involving immigrants and Muslims.
The clips of testimony embedded in the activities are relatable to all, Street said.
“If someone who has witnessed or experienced the worst of what society throws at us can still see that we have more similarities than differences, then it makes it a lot easier for someone who hasn’t seen the worst to do the same,” she said.
The USC Shoah Foundation’s The Institute for Visual History and Education, housed at USC, is “dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides a compelling voice for education and action.”
The institute’s collection numbers more than 54,000 eyewitness testimonies that can be accessed via its Visual History Archive.
— City News Service
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