Historic Decisions Issue Guide - "Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create a Fair Society?"

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This free issue guide was developed in 2014 by the David Mathews Center (DMC) for Civic Life (Montevallo, Alabama) and Alabama Public Television for Project C: Lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement. It is a 22-page guide that presents three approaches for deliberation. As described on the DMC website - "The resource encourages students to explore the difficult choices that citizens faced in Birmingham, Alabama on January 1, 1963. Accompanying resources (including a moderator development video and a starter video) can be found at aptv.org/project-c."

The three approaches include:

Approach One: Take a Legislative and Legal Stand

...To honor our founding principles of freedom and equality, we need to aggressively change laws to get rid of segregation. Lawmakers must enact and enforce federal laws prohibiting segregation and discriminatory practices. Federal courts must require states and cities to respect court rulings, then lawyers must work to ensure equality through lawsuits.

Approach Two: Build and Strengthen Relationships

...We must work together in our communities to improve relationships between black and white citizens. We must study the issue, learn to work together, and push for change at the local level. We must search for common ground to unite us and work to eliminate fear. Cities, states, and local communities should work peacefully on policies that guarantee equality and fairness for all citizens.

Approach Three: Take Direct and Immediate Action

...If we want to make real change, all citizens must take direct action now. Rapid change in the community may lead to positive changes across the country and the world. It's urgent that we protest, boycott, and educate immediately. We must be willing to risk jail, injury, and perhaps even death.

Find this (and a printer-friendly black and white version of the guide) and other guides and resources at the David Mathews Center for Civic Life website.