Philanthropy through Social Activism

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Act of Philanthropy
Social Action
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: People have the power as social activists to make a difference for the common good. Sometimes laws and practices are unfair. We use voting, advocacy, and our right to protest to raise awareness and demand justice. This 4-minute video and follow-up questions prompt youth to recall actions of the past that changed laws. Through discussion, young people examine social activism of today and current issues of debate.

Anticipatory Set

Recall social activism and movements from the past. "What protests and civil action of the past 250 years have changed laws and practices, protecting the rights of specific populations in the U.S.?" Brainstorm a list together. Before showing the video, ask viewers to take notes of what historic events are shown and the justice they represent. Tell them to take note of inspirational words that can influence today's issues and social action. 



  1. What are some events and issues pictured in this video? Which ones are missing?
  2. We hear Martin Luther King, Jr. say, "Somewhere I read..." To what reading is he referring? How long ago were those words written? Under what conditions?
  3. Do we as U.S. citizens have the right to protest when something isn't fair? Where is that right assured?
  4. What are some rights that people are protesting for today? What people around the world are experiencing oppression?
  5. What are some issues that are controversial today?
  6. In the video we hear that every citizen is a social activist. By not acting, how are we giving our power to someone else?
  7. How do we protest today using social media? Is it effective? What techniques work? What are the negative sides of social media as a tool? How do you know if it is working?

Follow-Up Activity

Research a social justice issue, especially current protests and calls for justice, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and protests by Native Peoples related to oil pipelines across their lands. Create a timeline of facts and events going back to the origins of agreements and injustices.