In conjunction with their study of the 2020 Presidential election, students in Windward’s 7th Grade Introduction to United States Government classes have been researching and exploring issues of racial injustice. Students have examined the ways in which race has been and continues to be used to acquire and maintain power and have focused on how issues of racial injustice have changed and/or stayed the same over time.
Students’ work began during the Summer when they read Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. In class, they were broken into small teams to engage in research around specific topics related to racial injustice. Topics included mass incarceration, affirmative action, voter suppression, reparations, confederate monuments, and capital punishment.
Students researched their issues, including their history, their present status, and their connection with the 2020 election, exploring sources assembled by their teachers and research librarians Sarah Clark and Cielo Botello-Williams from Windward’s Center for Teaching and Learning. They also proposed next steps in addressing these issues and how government could be used as a tool to create a more just society. Finally, students had the opportunity to hone their presentation skills while sharing their findings with their classmates.
Eric Mandel, Assistant Head of School, Director of Middle School, and 7th Grade Government teacher stated, “I was so impressed by the sophistication of the presentations made by the students. More importantly, the understanding of racial injustice that our students developed will enable them to act as antiracist leaders in the Windward community and in their larger communities.” 7th Grade Government teacher Dirk Binkley added, “Through this project, students have developed their abilities to take action to help their communities become more just.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2026! We look forward to seeing how you take what you learned to create a more equitable and inclusive world.