Environmental Justice in Southeast Michigan
School: Detroit Achievement Academy
City/State: Detroit, MI
Format(s): Video: Documentary
Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology
Environmental Justice: Detroit's Past Present and Future
Sixth-grade students at Detroit Achievement Academy studied the history of housing discrimination in their region. They read portions of The Detroit School Busing Case by Dr. Joyce Baugh and visited historical spots such as the wall on 8 Mile and Wyoming and the site of the Black Bottom neighborhood. They also heard from former residents of Black Bottom.
They began to notice patterns of injustice that exist in the region and the connection to historical housing discrimination. They focused in on environmental justice. They studied air quality and access to healthy food by getting out into different communities that are impacted. All the while they worked together to learn to direct, record and produce a documentary film. They debuted this film in front of our school community to launch other students into a Better World Day Celebration. They also planned and led Better World Day for a community. They organized a community march for environmental justice, helped crews plant trees, collect garbage and led a recycled art activity.
How This Project Can Be Useful
- Excellent model of students addressing an authentic need in their own community
- Shows the impact that students can have on their fellow students and community
- Illustrates the concept of Leaders of Their Own Learning
- Includes a folder of supplementary materials for this project
Common Core State Standards
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