Different Organizational Models - Part B

  1. Ask students to turn back to their copies of the Community Organizing Chart and fill in information about Wednesdays in Mississippi in the right-hand column. Let students know they will have a chance to add more to that column in a little while.
  2. Distribute copies of Wednesdays in Mississippi Documents. Begin by looking at "Wednesdays in Mississippi" – Report from Polly Cowan, Project Coordinator, 1964. Ask students to take turns reading it aloud, or break into small groups. Encourage students to draw connections between the film clips and this document, and discuss any surprises or disparities they notice.
  3. Have three students each read one of the remaining documents out loud. These documents are excerpts from oral history interviews conducted with WIMS participants, in which the women reflect back on their experiences. (If you have students with acting experience or strong voices, invite each of the three readers to come up to the front of the class when it is his/her turn.)
  4. Once again encourage students to draw connections between the film clips and these oral history excerpts, and discuss any surprises or disparities they notice.
  5. Using what they learned from the documents studied, have students finish filling in the Wednesdays in Mississippi section of their charts.
  6. When all of your students have finished their chart, discuss the following questions:
    • Different organizations were involved in these two projects. How were these organizations similar and/or different? How do you think these differences and/or similarities affected the work they were doing?
    • How did the goals and motivations of the participants in the two different projects overlap? What were some differences in the goals and motivations? What role do you think the age of the participants played in their goals and motivations? [Note in particular what Dorothy Height recalls in her interview: that Polly Cowan was motivated to start WIMS because of the ways the Freedom Summer volunteers – including her own children – were being described.] What role do you think gender played in their goals and motivations?
    • Think back to the letter between Vivian and her father that we read at the beginning of class. How do you think each would have felt about the work being done by Wednesdays in Mississippi?
    • What do you think is the significance these two different models had in terms of the Civil Rights Movement as a whole?
    • How does knowing about WIMS impact your image of the Civil Rights Movement, and how Jews were involved?

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Different Organizational Models - Part B." (Viewed on September 17, 2021) <https://jwa.org/node/11873>.

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