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Growing vegetables and expanding horizons

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“Many residents of Compton, California, live in a food desert, which means they lack access to healthy foods and young people have never acquired the habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Retired neurosurgeon Sherridan Ross may have a solution: Teach them to grow their own food. Drawing on the legacy of farming in Compton by African Americans, Sherridan develops community gardens that transform the attitude of neighborhood youth to food, and benefits them in other ways, too.”
Grade Level
3-5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
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Multimedia

Familiar food turns a refuge into a home

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“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

Stitching together the social fabric for young mothers in Appalachia

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Carrol Layfield manages a quilting group of older women from Ritchie County, West Virginia, who used to work in the area’s garment industry. Using techniques handed down over generations, the women piece together quilts from remnants of fabric from shuttered factories. Kayla Turk is a young mother of two children who returned home to Ritchie County to live with her parents when her husband was laid off. At a communal baby shower, Kayla receives a quilt from the older women, and discovers a network of support.
Grade Level
3-5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Topic
Subject
History
Economics
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Multimedia

Immigrant fathers and sons communicate on the soccer field

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“Traditional sports build cultural solidarity. In rural North Carolina, Tomás, a retired semi-professional soccer player from Mexico, co-founds an organized soccer league with family and fellow Central and Latin American undocumented immigrants. The common language of the sport forges bonds among the players and across generations, helping to foster more open communication between fathers and sons, and creates mentoring relationships with other adults. Moreover, the league's frequent games promote physical and psychological resilience in a community burdened by the risk of deportation.”
Grade Level
3-5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
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Multimedia

Every little girl should be able to wear a tutu

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“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

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“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

Rediscovering the healing power of horses

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“The Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes Reservation in Montana is home to tribes whose culture was defined by their relationship to their land and their horses. Generations of systemic oppression drained their culture of its traditional meaning, and they struggle with grief, shame, and loss. Their trauma has led to fractured families, substance abuse, and a high teen suicide rate. Charlie Four Bear gives troubled Fort Peck youth a chance to build relationships with horses, and through them, with tribal elders like himself, to reclaim their tribal family’s cultural pride.”
Grade Level
3-5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
History
Social Justice Domain
TEXT
Multimedia

Fun and Fitness in a Library Parking Lot

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Line dance leader Kit Cheung teaches her class of Chinese-American women in an unlikely place: the parking lot of a local library. No other public location offers both the outdoor space and sun cover the group requires for their twist on the traditional Chinese exercise of tai chi. The relationship that forms between the initially reluctant library and Kit’s dance group has created some unexpected opportunities.
Grade Level
3-5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Subject
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain
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Multimedia

Veterans discover solace in service

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“Marine Corporal Jeremy Dobbins returned to Dayton, Ohio, from duty in Afghanistan with an 80% disability rating and issues with anger. Trained in service to others, veterans often resist the idea that they themselves need help and they have difficulty with sharing their war experiences with family and friends. An oral history project at Wright State University is giving Jeremy and other young veterans a chance to help older veterans recover their stories of war, and to come to terms with their own.”
Grade Level
3-5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Topic
Subject
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain