Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"The Helpers High"

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~Robert F. Kennedy

The time is always right to do what is right. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

More reason to do good:
ABC News story:
Research on the "helpers high"
More on "helpers high"
Christian Science Monitor Article:
Boston Globe Article:
MSN Article:
Take the "Compassion Quiz"
Why Good Things Happen to Good People
Extra Credit: Read one of the articles above. Write a brief reflection. What did you learn?

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Safe Environment for LGBT Students

Wisconsin was the first state in the country to enact a law guaranteeing equal access to curriculum and extracurricular activities to all students, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. Information about starting a GSA

In its 2005 National School Climate Survey, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found:
75% of students heard derogatory remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently or often at school, and nearly nine out of ten (89%) reported hearing "that's so gay" or "you're so gay" -- meaning "stupid" or "worthless" -- frequently or often.
Over a third (37.8%) of students experienced physical harassment at school based on sexual orientation and more than a quarter (26%) based on their gender expression.
Nearly one-fifth (17.6%) of students had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation and over a tenth (11.8%) because of their gender expression.
LGBTQ students were five times more likely to report having skipped school in the last month because of safety concerns than the general population of students.
LGBTQ students who experience more frequent physical harassment were more likely to report they did not plan to go to college. Overall, LGBTQ students were twice as likely as the general population of students to report they were not planning to pursue any post-secondary education.
The average GPA for LGBTQ students who were frequently physically harassed was half a grade lower than that of LGBTQ students experiencing less harassment.

The Power of Words

GLSEN's December 2003 National School Climate Survey, for example, revealed a direct link between at-school harassment and the declining grade-point averages and college aspirations of LGBTQ students.
"It's really simple: If you don't feel safe at school, you can't learn -- you're thinking about the next insult, the next throw against the locker," says Brian Juchems, program director for GSAs for Safe Schools. Based in Madison, the group provides leadership development and technical assistance to GSAs across south-central Wisconsin.
In June 2004, GLSEN surveyed state policies to determine how well states were protecting LGBTQ students from harassment. Arranged report card-style, the survey assigned each state a grade: 42 states received F's, and only two received an A.
Alarmingly, only eight states prohibited harassment based on sexual orientation, and seven states criminalized any positive mention of LGBTQ issues or people in the classroom.
Wisconsin's survey grade was a C; only five states scored higher.

Words that Reinforce Stereotypes Lesson Plan - Teaching Tolerance
Psychology Students (Anyone looking for EXTRA CREDIT?)
Any comments about Wednesday's Activity? - Post your comments here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Take a Stand Against Hate

Every hour someone commits a hate crime.

Every day at least eight blacks, three whites, three gays, three Jews and one Latino become hate crime victims.

Psychology Students- Respond to A&E Investigative Reports Video

1. For many teenagers who join hate groups, what attracted them to the group?
2. What methods do some hate groups use to entice young people into their organization? (How do many hate groups go about expanding their base?)
3. According to the ADL, what is one of the worst ways of dealing with this issue?
4. Why are many police/DA offices reluctant to label crimes against gays as hate crimes?
5. How are police departments working to be more proactive in preventing hate crimes?
When you are finished with the questions, visit the interactive map and the hate symbols, graffiti sites (highlighted in light blue). Also, check out the video linked below. See how one community responded to hate.


American Psychological Association - Understanding and Taking a Stand Against Hate Crimes
Interactive Map of Hate Groups in the United States
Hate Symbols, Graffiti, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hate Crimes
Lesson Plan - The Rhetoric of Hate

PBS Lesson Plan
Not in Our Town - National Program Combating Hate
History of Activism Timeline
George Burdi Interview with Intelligence Report:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


DeJure and DeFacto Segregation/NPR Story

Key Findings in Harvard Research on Increasing Segregation:
Increasing Segregation in States with Substantial Black Enrollment: Virtually all states with substantial black enrollments increased integration during the 1970's, but showed a rise in segregation between 1980 and 1996. The largest increases in segregation occurred in Rhode Island (20%), Wisconsin (13%), Florida (12%), Oklahoma (12%), Maryland (9%), Delaware (9%), and Massachusetts (9%).
New York Times Lesson Plan (Little Rock to Jena)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Online Quizzes - Inequality

3rd and 4th Period Psychology classes: Visit the following sites and take the online quizzes. Some of the sites contain activities pertaining to the issues of prejudice, discrimination and racism. Do the sorting activity. When you are finished with the quizzes and activities, post a comment. What did you learn from the quizzes and activities?

Online Quiz:
Sorting Activity:
"What's Race Got To Do With It?"
Although this web site is intended to supplement a McGraw-Hill anthology entitled Understanding Prejudice and Discrimination, all pages and activities are freely available and can be used with other texts or on their own.
Online Quiz - Prejudice
Images in Action - Learn More About the History of Prejudice

Harvard Online Test - Implicit Biases
Tell Your Story
Vote in the Mix it Up Poll
List of links pertaining to prejudice - Useful for future projects, etc.
Understanding Sexism online Quiz
Learn more about Implicit Associations Tests
Hidden Bias: A Primer
American Psychological Association: Thwarting Prejudice
"Baby-Doll" Study - Clark's Research (See images above)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Institutional Racism

Exploring Unintentional Racism: A Case Study:
U.S. History Recovery/Civil Rights Mini Course Assignment:
Click on the link below. Click on "Handout." Print a copy. Ask me for a copy of the transparency with the photo of the young child at the Klan rally in Gainesville Florida. If you would like to see the image online, click on "Picture." Answer all of the questions on the handout.
"Kiddie Klan" Discussion Activity:

La Crosse Tribune Article/Mascot and Logo Issue UW Eau Claire - Ethical Implications Native American Mascots and Logos
Psychological Considerations/Use of Native American Mascots and Logos
Institutional Racism in the Criminal Justice System
Additional information about Rubin Hurricane Carter
Note about "The Hurricane:" There has been controversy over the accuracy of the movie. For more details on this issue, check out the wikipedia entry.
Psychology Students: Respond to the film, "The Hurricane." Despite the controversy over the accuracy of the events portrayed in the film, what did you learn about the issue of institutional racism in the criminal justice system? Can you find other recent examples of institutional racism in the criminal justice system?

Economic Justice

*12% of American Children don't have any insurance coverage at all
*The U.S. Ranks 37th in the world for infant mortality
*One-in-five U.S. jobs does not provide health insurance, a pension, or wages high enough to support a family
*For a family of 4, one year of health insurance costs an average of 11,000
*Over 1/2 of all bankruptcy filings in 2001 were a result of medical expenses

How much do you know about inequality? Take this on-line test to find out!

Los Angeles Program - Meals in a Backpack - Story and Video

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Adbusting- Diamond Industry

Lessons and Activities (Blood Diamonds and Adbusting)

Assignment: You are going to be an "adbuster," creating an "advertisement" reflecting the sometimes grim reality of the diamond trade. The links above, the movie "Blood Diamond" as well as class lecture and discussions should provide you with the foundation to create an effective "adbusters style" advertisement.

The Adbusters and "badvertising" websites contain many examples of adbusters style advertisements. Spend some time on these sites exploring.

Related Lesson:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Improving School Climate

Fast Facts:
A 2001 GLSEN survey found that 80 percent of GLBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment in school. Nearly one-third reported missing at least one day of school in a 30-day period due to personal safety fears. And one in five of the students reported being physically assaulted.
Thirty percent of workers say they've heard colleagues use racial or ethnic slurs in the last 12 months. The same number report hearing sexist comments.
Twenty-one percent of workers say they've overheard age-related ridicule, and 20% of workers report hearing jabs aimed at sexual orientation.

One in 10 students say that someone at school has called them a derogatory word related to race, religion, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexual orientation in the past six months.

Lessons, Activities and Information on Improving School Climate:
Speaking Up Against Everyday Bigotry:
Gay or Straight? Lesson Plan:
Learning About "isms" Lesson Plan:
Responding to Hate - Advice from Dr. Bud, Ball State University
Can you tell someone's race by looking at them? Take this on-line "sorting" activity if you think you can.
"What's Race Got To Do With It?" Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes by watching and listening to four slideshows. You may be surprised to learn how great a role race plays in your own life.
American Psychological Association Statement on Combating Racism