Thursday, June 27, 2013

History ACTIVE Day 4: We Have the Power

Today in History ACTIVE, the focus was on women's issues. To start, we discussed the documentary, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell," which shows how women in Liberia organized together to end a seventeen-year civil war. We learned that anyone has the power to make a difference as long as he or she has the initiative. While it may be hard to do it alone, it's always possible as long as you put your mind to it. Whether man or woman, we all should have equal power and influence. We all just have to stay focused!

We also learned the importance of trust and self-awareness when advocating for change in either a group or on your own. Trusting helps build strong relationships in everyday life. It's important to trust yourself, too. When you trust in yourself, you inspire others to trust in themselves. You need to have confidence in your views and have courage to voice them.

Tomorrow is Advocacy Day so we will have a chance to put our skills to use. More to come tomorrow.

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Twitter: @HistoryACTIVE

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

History ACTIVE Day 2: The Inequalities of Immigration

Today during History ACTIVE, we discussed immigrant rights as we viewed and discussed the film, "Welcome to Shelbyville" and visited the Latin-American Coalition where we met with youth members of United 4 the Dream.
There are so many trials and tribulations like gangs and drugs, but that did not stop so many immigrants face trying to come to America. However when they're here, they're forced into a bubble of inequality, conformity, fear, injustice, and restrictions.
Doors don't open up; you're trapped and you can't get out. Not everyone has the same oppurtunities for education. It shouldn't matter your documentation status to get an education if you want to learn you deserve to learn!
America was founded on principles of equality , yet there  is no equality in  America. Everyone deserves an opportunity to shape his or her destiny.
As a group, we drafted a manifesto that suggests ways in which Charlotteans can build a diverse and hospitible community with immigrants.
"History ACTIVE's Manifesto for Accepting Immigrant Communities"
1. Be welcoming.
2. No one is an expert on anyone else.
3. Be tolerant and try to understand differences.
4.Communicate with new populations rather than about them.
5. Provide an opportunity to learn and exchange.
6. Give each other a chance even if you're scared.
7. Realize that there are bigger issues that people are going through.
8. Remember what it means to be an American.
9. Be proactive; reach out.
10. Accept change and diversity as a good thing.
11. Be open-minded.
12. Sort through misinformation.
13. Everyone is in the same struggle. Help each other out.
14. Recognize each other's humanity.
15. Use your voice for good.
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Facebook: /LevineMuseum
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History ACTIVE Day 3: LGBT Then and Now

Students in History Active do a mirror activity to think about perception and
self definition
Today the focus of History ACTIVE was issues and activism surrounding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ) issues.
We started the day with a movement exercise led by dancer Latanya Johnson. She taught us about how people used their bodies and have to sacrifice bodily security to be active.
We also watched the documentary Brother Outsider about Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin who spoke out against the unfairness inflicted on African Americans and fought for equal rights. Bayard, an  African American and homosexual, was frequently looked down on because of his background. During his time, homosexuality was considered:
A mental illness
A reason to be persecuted
Today we can see distinct changes. In particular, we visited Charlotte's LGBT Community Center which has given moral support to help overcome the challenges they face. While there we listened to the stories of three brave homosexual men from Time Out Youth and their journey of coming out and becoming who they are. Each of the young men faced difficulties coming out but managed to overcome all obstacles and become an inspiration for others.
Afterward, we looked at ourselves and the way we perceived others with a mirror exercise from UNC Charlotte's Museum of Oppression.
On the same day that we had this discussion the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision concerning gay rights by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and ruling on California's gay marriage law.
History in the making.
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More to come tomorrow...

Monday, June 24, 2013

History ACTIVE Day :1 The Many Layers of Our Youth

Dr. King wrote, "Oppresed people cannot remain oppressed forever" in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Today as the first day at History ACTIVE, we students watched "Mighty Times: The Children's March," visited the COURAGE exhibit at Johnson C. Smith and spent the afternoon thinking about where our stories fit in during the past 15 to17 years.

Based on our conversations, we ave created our own quotes about youth activism and civil rights:

"Even though we are young, we have the potential to accomplish great things."
"There will always be resistance to change, but nonviolence is key. "
"There is power in our youth and our community."
"The differences between us are amazing, and yet we are still able to work together."
"We can do anything we set our minds on."
"The youth itself has a lot of power."

There is more to come tomorrow...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome to History Active

On Monday, June 24, Levine Museum of the New South will introduce its newest youth outreach program. History Active is a conduit for young people to be heard no matter their ethnic, economic, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status. The program aims to tackle changing demographics by recognizing connections between many silenced populations. Diverse cohorts of students will draw parallels between historical Civil Rights struggles and the current push for LGBTQ, immigration, and human rights through learning sessions, media-based responses and an advocacy day.  History Active will demonstrate that acknowledgement of the past is essential for meeting the social justice challenges of today.

Over the years, the Levine Museum has encountered thousands of students who feel helpless to influence and engage in the community around them. Some of the biggest obstacles that prevent constructive dialogue and action in young people are the rampant use of stereotyping and the lack of a social action model. The History Active program is a two phase program that assists teens in recognizing various forms of discrimination and introduces teens to new ways of combating inequity. The first phase is a week-long intensive workshop (held June 24-28). Each day during the workshop, students will study a different rights issue and learn how to better advocate for the issues they care about. After the workshop, students will have the opportunity to apply for a seat on a bus tour of three important Civil Rights cities: Charlotte, Atlanta and Birmingham.The bus tour will leave July 15 and return July 18.

A large component of the History Active program is the students' engagement with social networking. Each day they will be tweeting, posting photos to Instagram, updating Facebook, and writing on this blog. To follow what the teens are doing check back here and at: