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Defining Diversity

School: Lowell High School

City/State: Lowell, MA

Grade(s): 10, 11, 12

Format(s): Book

Subject(s): Social Studies

Project Overview

Twenty-four students from the first integrated high school in the United States—Lowell High School in Massachusetts—set out to understand the meaning of diversity and equity in America today as part of a upper-class seminar on Diversity in America.

They produced Defining Diversity, a book of prose and photography. The book is a concise and inspiring journey through a century-and-a-half of seminal moments in American history told through the voices of the next generation. It explores the key ideas, federal laws, and Supreme Court decisions that have shaped our society.

Defining Diversity has special resonance because not only is Lowell High the very first integrated high school in the United States—open to all from its founding in the 1830’s— but today, the school is one of the most diverse in the nation, home to students from 66 countries across five continents.

The students wrote Defining Diversity with the hope of teaching other students about these key concepts, writing for students in grades six through twelve.
The book is now in the libraries and classrooms of more than 130 schools in thirty U.S. States. A copy of the book can be purchased here.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Exemplifies the use of engaging text to bring history alive for a readership of both peers and younger students
  • Addresses timely issues through the lens of history
  • Uses a format that is both simple and professional in craftsmanship; entries are diverse but have a common format
  • Serves an authentic and contemporary need

Relevant Resources

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