For the Equality Course, GCE Seniors investigated the following guiding question:

How may we all claim the same rights?

Here’s the scenario students were challenged with:

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

Mario Savio, one of the leaders of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley delivered these iconic words on December 2, 1964 in response to the University’s attempts to withhold the students’ right to protest. Savio inspired his peers then, and generations after his to stand up against the powers that oppress. Today, “the machine” continues to serve its citizens unequally and it is up to you to inspire your peers into action.

Using your knowledge of the different theories of citizenship, your analysis and research on a specific violation of rights, and your examination of The United Nation’s Declaration of Universal Human Rights and the United States Bill of Rights, you will write a contemporary Declaration of Rights and facilitate a conversation based on the preamble and the articles you composed.

Please click on the preamble and the articles on the Declaration below to see what rights the students declare for all citizens.

Alignment with Common Core Standards

History and Social Studies Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1 : Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2 : Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3: Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Writing Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1.A: Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1.B: Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

Reading Standards for Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Speaking and Listening Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.A: Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C: Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D: Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.2: Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

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“All men are born equal”. But, what about women? And, even if we are born equal, do we live in equality? How do wealth and resources fit in? In this course, you will explore inequalities that exist based upon gender, race, and socioeconomic class diffe …

Learn more about our Equality Course