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In a trailer park, isolated mothers pursue a shared dream

Metro Atlanta trailer park
“Zindy is a Mexican immigrant and domestic abuse survivor who lives with her five children at an isolated Atlanta-area trailer park. She notices that other park residents — immigrants from Mexico and Central America — struggle with the same issues she does, such as English fluency, reluctance to trust others, and limited access to education and other services. Zindy views their shared isolation as an opportunity and unites mothers in the community with similar cultural norms and practices — not to address shared problems, like domestic abuse, but to realize their common dreams for their children. This is the story of how they forged cultural ties and mutual trust, and the confidence to seek outside help in creating an escuelita (“little school”).”
Grade Level
6-8
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
TEXT
Multimedia

Familiar food turns a refuge into a home

Refuge into a home
“Padam and Purna were forced from their homeland in Bhutan and trapped in camps in Nepal for decades before being resettled in an alien land: Clarkston, Georgia. The refugees have found some stability, but still feel frustrated and uprooted, which leads to domestic violence and suicide in the refugee community. Padam and Purna realized that familiar food is the first step to feeling at home. They have opened a food store and other refugee-run businesses, which offer safe spaces and sources of mutual support for all the Asian refugees in Clarkston, who are united by their experience of trauma.”
Grade Level
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Economics
Geography
Social Justice Domain
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Multimedia

Birdsong guides a tribe home

Birdsong Tribe
“The desert-dwelling Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians were uprooted from their ancestral lands. For decades, they were cheated of the property rights deeded to them by the U.S. government, and then subject to restrictive deed provisions. Not until the 1980s were they able to develop their own land in Palm Springs, and only recently have they begun to restore the springs revered by their ancestors. Tribal council member Anthony J. Andreas III battles the severe mental health problems that afflict the traumatized tribe by reviving ancestral practices. Traditional Bird Songs and pottery help today’s youth draw strength from the tribe’s sources of spiritual resilience.”
Grade Level
6-8
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Multimedia

Every little girl should be able to wear a tutu

Every Girl should be able to wear a tutu
“Ava is an ambitious teenager who owes much of her inner strength to a dance studio in South L.A. Founder Lula Washington and her daughter Tamica are professional dancers — and they are role models as well as teachers. At their dance school, African American children learn to respect themselves, their bodies, and their cultural traditions. The young dancers also defy stereotypes by mastering ballet. The dance program cultivates self-discipline and mutual support that enables girls like Ava to flourish even when their families are facing hard times.”
Grade Level
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Multimedia

Dealing with depression -- through faith and acupuncture

Dealing with Depression through faith and acupuncture
“Esperanza is an undocumented Mexican immigrant in Compton, California. She suffers from fears and anxieties caused by her four previous deportations and her high-stress role as her family’s caregiver. Esperanza doesn’t see depression as a health problem. When she shares her struggles with a local priest, she discovers a network of support that ranges from her compadres to a free clinic.”
Grade Level
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Multimedia

Curbing floods and restoring a sense of community

English Ave
“English Avenue, an historic African-American neighborhood with an illustrious past, sits at the bottom of Atlanta’s water runoff. Blighted by regular flooding, mass vacancies, unemployment, and impoverishment, English Avenue finds hope in a home-grown response from its youth. Longtime resident MacKenzie Bass — along with fellow members of Street Smart — helped construct a park that curbs the excess water, creates a gathering place, and seeks to reclaim English Avenue’s identity.”
Grade Level
6-8
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Geography
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Literature

Barracoon

Barracoon image
This excerpt from Barracoon, which provides a first-person account from the last living man transported from Africa to America as an enslaved person. The excerpt shows Zora Neal Hurston arriving at Cudjo Lewis’ house to speak with him about his past in only the way he can.
Grade Level
6-8
Zora Neale Hurston
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Literature

Thomas H.

Thomas was born into slavery and lived a harsh life, but he was finally able to escape and reunite with his family.
Grade Level
Lauryn Mascareñaz
Topic
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain