Advocating for Respect

6, 7, 8

The learners discuss a quote from Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and reflect on the meaning of respect for themselves as individuals. They commit their support to a plan for promoting respect in their school.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • discuss a quote from Barbara Jordan.
  • reflect on the personal meaning of respect of self and others.
  • determine at least one individual act they can take to promote respect.


  1. Anticipatory Set: Display this quote:

    "If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority."

    --Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

  2. Give the learners a little background on Barbara Jordan: Barbara Jordan was born and raised in a Houston, Texas, ghetto. As a young African American woman, she became active in politics during John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1960. Jordan served in the Texas House of Representatives and in the Texas Senate. She was the first African American woman to be elected to the Texas Senate. She then served as a U.S. Congresswoman from 1972-1978.

  3. As a class, discuss Jordan's quote as it relates to respect, disrespect, and especially bullying or another school issue.

  4. Ask the learners to reflect in their journals about respect. The journal entry should include their personal definition of respect, including self-respect, respect for the world, and respect for others, and at least one thing they will do to promote respect.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.6 Identify and explain how fundamental democratic principles relate to philanthropic activities.