Tag Archives: Omékongo Dibinga

Thursday October 2nd

On Thursday we aim to get students exploring the issue of democratic learning and students’ rights to education. By watching a video from a youth activist, Malala Yousafzai, students will engage with concepts related to gaining stake in their education. We will be facilitating a discussion about the nature of education rights, and whether students have stake in deciding what they’re learning and how.

We hope that by encouraging students to articulate what it is they think is valuable to learn, and whether that is what they are actually learning in the classroom, they will grow more conscious of the limits of education in the classroom. We hope it will give our students a critical perspective on their own education so they can begin to further grapple with and challenge other issues that may arise later.

Malala Yousafzai’s biography: Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai first came to public attention in 2009 when she wrote an affecting BBC diary about life under the Taliban.

But three years later, in October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman because of her campaign for girls’ education. She was already well known in Pakistan, but that one shocking act catapulted her to international fame.

She survived the dramatic assault, in which a militant boarded her school bus in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley and opened fire.

She has been named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people in 2013, put forward for the Nobel Peace Prize and has reportedly secured a $3m (£2m) book contract for her life story.

Background Video on Malala

Malala Yousafzai’s Speech

Friday – September 27

On Friday, we will be exploring how we can enact positive change in the world with the understanding that problems that impact others around the world can often be connected to our own actions at home.

For the past two days, we have been talking in small groups about five specific cases of human rights abuses occurring around the world: child labor/mining in Tanzania, the forced relocation of Tibetans in China, land grabbing in Mozambique, sweatshops in Bangladesh, and enforced disappearances in Mexico.  Today, we will continue connecting these seemingly “foreign” issues to our own lives.  We will do this by creating a list of items that we find on ourselves, in the classroom, or at home that connect to one of the issues listed above.  Are any of us wearing a t-shirt made in Bangladesh?  Did we drink soy milk this morning made from soybeans that were harvested on confiscated land in Mozambique?  These questions will lead us to the most important question:  does this make us responsible for taking action to combat the abuses created by these global issues?

If we do assume this responsibility, we need to figure out how we can take action and make others care about these issues.  First, we will brainstorm how we can raise awareness among CHS students about the five issues we have been discussing in small groups.  How do we make a high school student in Charlottesville, Virginia, care about the plight of a child miner in Tanzania or a relocated Tibetan in China?  Omékongo will help us apply the answers to this question to his campaign to stop the use of conflict minerals coming from the Congo.  We will visualize how we can start a “conflict-free” movement in not only CHS but also the greater Charlottesville community.

We want to keep in mind that it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of global issues that impact us and others abroad.  This can cause us to shut down and opt to do nothing about these abuses.  We will end the class by discussing how we can overcome this feeling and continue to fight for change.  I am looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts!

Thursday, September 26: Global Issues, Connected

Today (see thursday lesson plan),  we will connect the global issues we learned about yesterday – child labor/mining in Tanzania, forced relocation of Tibetans in China, land grabs in Mozambique, sweatshops in Bangladesh, and enforced disappearances in Mexico – to other issues in places in different times and places.

We will begin by reviewing yesterday’s activity. In order to remind ourselves of all the issues we discussed yesterday, everyone will fill out a worksheet to get us thinking about the root causes of the issues.

Then, we will use our tablets to find information about our topics in another time and place. Child labor is not unique to Tanzania, and sweatshops exist in places other than Bangladesh. Discover where and when else these issues occurred. Are they a problem closer to home, in the United States, or have they ever been? Use this time to explore – find out what is out there, and see what surprises you!

As we gather information, we will record our finds in Venn diagrams in our journal and share with our classmates. Then, we will use the graphic organizer on the back of the first worksheet to further our understanding of the connections between these different issues.

To wrap up, we will hold a class discussion about the different issues in the different places, how they all connect, and how they relate to us, sitting in this classroom.

Wednesday, September 25th: Global Citizenship & Intersectionality

In this lesson, we will focus on global citizenship — global issues, the countries in which these global issues take place, our role and the intersectionalities between said aspects of global citizenship. The day will start out with a quick wrap-up of Monday’s lesson, which focused on poverty, as a multi-level human rights issue. Students will finish up the charts they started, which analyzed poverty at the local, state and global levels.

For this lesson, we have a special treat for the students, as our guest, Omekongo Dibinga, will share of his work and perform a few spoken word pieces. In addition, he will talk about a current human rights issue in the Congo, his homeland, which is linked to cell phone usage here in the States. This will allow students to visualize human rights in a “closer-to-home” context, instead of being limited to discourse. This will serve as a great segway to the main activity for the day.

For the bulk of the class today, students will zero-in one 5 main human rights issues/ countries:

child labor/ mining in Tanzania

forced relocation of Tibetans in China

land grabs in Mozambique

sweatshops in Bangladesh  (an additional link about a particular incident involving a Bangladeshi sweatshop here)

enforced disappearances in Mexico

Sari sweatshop outside of DhakaSweatshop in Bangladesh (Humanosphere.org)

Students will be put in groups and assigned a country. They will be given material about these countries/ human rights issues (please see the links above) and will analyze the issue at hand, in relation to global citizenship. They will come up with a presentation of the issue and will work together to make a visual representation of it (using poster board, markers, etc.). Groups will explore what the problem is, why it’s a problem, who is affected and other relevant inquiries. Discussion will follow, making connections between issues, countries, cultures and other societal factors.

At the end of the class, students will reflect about global citizenship in their personal lives. They will attempt to answer the following: How am I a global citizen? How can I be a better global citizen?

 For purposes of this lesson, we refer to global citizenship in the context of the Open Democracy definition (see link), and more specifically this excerpt:

“Those who see ourselves as global citizens are not abandoning
other identities; such as allegiances to our countries, ethnicities,
and political beliefs. These traditional identities give meaning to
our lives and will continue to help shape who we are. However,
as a result of living in a globalized world, we find we have an
added layer of responsibility. We have concern and a share of
responsibility for what is happening to the planet as a whole, and
we are members of a world-wide community of people who share
this concern.”

For a glimpse of the life of a Tanzanian child miner, click here to watch a video, exposing the struggles and the dangers child miners face.