In this lesson, youth become aware and gain empathy for the discrimination people experience because of their race, age, gender, and other reasons. The group discusses ways to be inclusive. A Mix it Up Day changes our familiar boundaries and helps us connect to new people.
Describe what inclusion looks like with regard to cultures, gender, and ability status
art supplies for each participant
- Identify some instances of exclusion and discrimination. Some examples include racially segregated schools, women not being allowed to vote, or people with intellectual disabilities not being included in classroom discussions.
- By this point, we have learned some vocabulary and concepts. Using websites like Baamboozle or JeopardyLabs, create a trivia game on the topics they’ve covered. Kids love the competition and it will help cement the ideas for them. Add to the game as you continue to cover topics. Sample Baamboozle game: https://www.baamboozle.com/game/282040
inclusion: making all people feel welcomed and valued in an environment
discrimination: treating someone differently or unfairly because they are different
prejudice: making a judgment before having all information; pre-judging someone or something, usually based on opinion instead of experience
Youth can involve their families in identifying ways to be more inclusive in their personal lives.
There are many reasons and situations that lead to people being excluded, or discriminated against. What mindset or actions can help you be more inclusive? Who is someone in your group, school or community that you can get to know better? What will you do?
Learning for Justice - Mix it Up! https://www.learningforjustice.org/mix-it-up
Invite youth to share about a time they felt left out. What happened? How did they feel? What did they do next? Discuss as a group what feelings are attached to being excluded.
Discussion: Feeling left out, or excluded, is not a feeling that anyone enjoys. The opposite of exclusion is inclusion, making all people feel welcomed and valued. Thinking back to the feelings they attach to being left out, discuss what feelings go along with being included.
Often, people miss out on opportunity or fair treatment because they are seen as different, maybe because of their race, culture, language, a disability, gender, or even age. There is a word for the unfair treatment these people get: discrimination. Provide some real life examples and invite the young people to add their own.
Show the TEDxYouth video, “Understanding Discrimination.” Talk about times the young people felt discriminated against - or not included - because they are young. How did the situation make them feel? Ask them to describe activities they feel they are capable of doing as youth or times they feel their opinions should be heard.
Sometimes, when exclusion has happened for a long time, being inclusive takes effort and planning. Ask the youth what steps they can take to be more inclusive to people around them.
Ask each learner to draw a picture of an inclusive setting (a classroom, a playground, etc). Discuss what makes the scene feel inclusive.
Giving back to the community: Have the group plan a Mix It Up day or event where people cross familiar boundaries and connect with someone new. For information about the Mix It Up campaign, visit Learning for Justice - Mix it Up!
Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
Benchmark MS.7 Identify and give examples of an individual's reserved power to act.
Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.