Personal Resistance Today - Actions
- Ask your students:
Think about a time when something bad was happening to you or to someone you know and you felt powerless to help; or think about a time when you saw or found out about something upsetting that went against your core values. (Possible responses might include: you're in the cafeteria and someone tells an ethnic/racial/homophobic joke; you're on the bus and someone uses an ethnic/racial/homophobic slur when talking to or about another student; something related to a local issue in your community).
- Now think about a time when you stood up for someone's feelings or rights in a small way – or thought about what you could do. What are some examples of things you have done? Let’s make a list on the board/chart paper. (Possible responses might include: say something when you hear an ethnic/racial/homophobic joke or slur, write something in the school paper about a rule that you think isn't just, etc.)
- After making the list of situations choose one or two and for each one ask your students the following questions:
- How would you feel if you were the person being "oppressed" by this situation?
- What would you want someone else to do to help?
- What could you do as an act of personal resistance if you were a "witness" to this situation?
- Break your class into small groups. Have each group choose a situation from the class list, or come up with a different situation, and develop a skit showing the situation and the act of personal resistance.
- Have each group present their skit. Discuss as a class the types of personal resistance presented in the skits, what makes these acts difficult in real life, what other actions could be taken.
- If you have time, have students reflect, either in pairs or in their journals, about conscience, risk-taking, and resistance. Ask students to respond to one of the following questions:
- What does my conscience tell me to do?
- What causes motivate me?
- What risks am I willing to take on behalf of others?
- When is a time that I resisted?
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Personal Resistance Today - Actions." (Viewed on May 25, 2015) <http://jwa.org/node/11795>.