Courage of the Heart

Unit of 3 Lessons
Grade Levels: 
Language Arts
Media / Technology
Social Studies
Issue Area: 
Focus Question 

How are people able to persevere and display courage in the face of racism, prejudice and discrimination? What causes people to put the needs of society or humanity ahead of their own personal needs? How does society benefit when all people are given equal opportunities to succeed academically and economically? 


Photo Credit:  Protest against France's immigration laws by looking4poetry is licensed under CC by 2.0

Unit Overview 

Students learn how individuals have persevered in the face of discrimination in order to impact the course of history for the common good. Vivien Thomas shared his time and talent to assist Dr. Alfred Blalock in pioneering a surgical clamp during the era of segregation in the United States. Hamilton Naki assisted Dr. Christian Barnard in heart transplantation in South Africa within the system of apartheid. Both men worked for unequal pay and without recognition, yet continued to work for the common good rather than personal gain. 

Service Experience 
Students can help in a healthy heart initiative, such as a health walk/run to raise money for heart research or a "Jump Rope for Health" activity. (See American Heart Association.) Students may investigate a human rights issue and contact Amnesty International or HRC to determine what can be done to advocate for the disenfranchised community. They may investigate bullying issues in their school and make a plan of action.  
Lessons in This Unit