Stand and Deliver for Justice and Diversity

9, 10, 11, 12
Learners explore and share their attitudes about diversity and issues of justice and kindness. The learners brainstorm ways that they can promote the common good by working to eliminate stereotyping, intolerance, discrimination, and prejudice. Students also explore these issues and have time for introspective reflection.
PrintOne 50-Minute Class Period with optional extensions

The learners will:

  • define stereotyping, intolerance, discrimination, and prejudice.
  • explore their own personal attitudes as related to stereotyping, intolerance, discrimination, and prejudice.
  • gain awareness about the value of diversity and apply it toward making a stronger community.
  • develop a personal action plan.
  • A copy of The Herman Grid for each learner
  • student copies of handout: What's the Attitude? (Attitude Survey) and Respect for Diversity Action Plan 
  • teacher copy of handout Stand and Deliver Activity
  • (Optional Extension) copies of handout: Racial Identity Journal Reflection 
Home Connection 

Give the following phrase to students to look up at home and discuss with their families (Google the most current version): "If the World Were 100 People." Teachers can further expand upon the sociological and geopolitical lessons found in this information.



  1. Prior to class, write the following quote on the display board:

    "Let us rise up tonight with a great readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge, to make America what it ought to be." --Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Anticipatory Set: Give each student a copy of The Herman Grid (see Materials list) and have them share their impressions of what they see. Most people can see gray dots at the white intersections between the boxes. Ask them if the gray dots are actually there or if the appearance is deceiving.

    Challenge the learners to apply this activity to other areas in life. Ask some of the following discussion starters:

    1. Are there times when we think we see something but it's not really there or when we deceive ourselves by failing to see a situation or a person and/or a group of people as they truly are?
    2. Why is it easy to get trapped in our own little boxes and fail to see that other possibilities/realities exist?
    3. How might the Herman Grid be an example of the way individuals, schools, and /or communities perceive and/or are perceived?
  2. Place the following words on the display board and discuss and define together:

    1. stereotype,
    2. intolerance,
    3. discrimination, and
    4. prejudice.
    • A stereotype is a generalized interpretation of a whole set based on information about a small subset.
    • Intolerance is an unwillingness to accept individuals/groups or situations other than those one already has chosen to accept.
    • Discrimination is a prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment of another.
    • Prejudice is a preconceived judgment formed without sufficient knowledge.

    Discuss the relationships between these concepts. Ask students to give examples of each concept, and antonyms for each concept.

  3. To open a discussion about the judgments we subconsciously make about others who have different characteristics than our own, distribute a copy of the handout: What's the Attitude? (Attitude Survey) to each learner and have them take about ten minutes to complete.

    Ask students to reflect for a couple minutes on how things we might feel deep down can influence how we treat others. Discuss how these questions and unconscious biases relate to the terms

    1. stereotype,
    2. intolerance,
    3. discrimination, and
    4. prejudice.
  4. Complete the activity on handout: Stand and Deliver. (Teacher Note: In order for this activity to be effective, it is important to stress that what they are about to do requires silence, honesty, and respect for others. Use your judgment on which items to use; you don't need to read all statements.)

  5. Following the group activity, debrief student reactions by asking the following questions:

    • What are some feelings that came up for you during this activity?
    • What was the hardest part for you?
    • What did you learn about yourself? About others?
    • What was your biggest surprise during this experience?
    • What did this activity show you about discrimination?
    • How does a diverse group add strength to a community?
    • How can learning others' stories counteract unconscious (and conscious) bias?
  6. Now direct the learners' attention to the quote written on the display board. Read the quote aloud and tell the learners that Dr. Martin Luther King made this statement on the night before his assassination.

    Ask the learners to consider what he was hoping to accomplish by making this statement? (The Civil Rights Movement was gaining momentum as African Americans rally behind this quote in their struggles to promote the common good by peaceful means.) Discuss how it is relevant today.

  7. Conclude this lesson by having the learners share what they have learned or have been reminded of in this lesson. Ask the learners to participate in developing an action plan using handout: Respect for Diversity Action Plan.

  8. Brainstorm ways to get involved in a service event, working to promote and advocate for justice and kindness in the school, community, and/or world.

Cross Curriculum 

Brainstorm ways to promote and advocate for justice and kindness in the school, community, and/or world.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Provide examples from history of how the relationship between government and the civil society sector has changed.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss and give examples of why some humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Give examples of human interdependence and explain why group formation is one strategy for survival.
      3. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Analyze philanthropic traditions of diverse cultural groups and their contributions to civil society.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Give examples from history of how intolerance of ideas, religion, and minorities contributed to social disintegration.
    3. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Give an example of individual philanthropic action that influenced national or world history.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Identify positive philanthropic historic acts or events that helped build the community, state, and nation.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define and give examples of motivations for giving and serving.
      2. Benchmark HS.10 Identify reasons why historic figures acted for the common good.
      3. Benchmark HS.2 Compare and contrast enlightened self-interest, egoism, and altruism as they relate to philanthropy and principles of democracy.
      4. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.