These 21st century heroes are moving America forward in racial justice and equality.
Darnella Frazier has helped to create a revolution around the nation and the world with her heroic filming of the tragic murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. She stood her ground and used her cell phone to record the horrific moments that led to his death at the hands of an officer. She then posted the recording onto social media and her video fueled a sense of urgency and outrage across the USA. Protests and support for Black Lives Matter became a nationwide movement. In June of 2021 Darnella Frazer was honored with a special award from the Pulitzer Prize Foundation. Here is a link to the NPR coverage of this award.
"To understand why, amid a global health crisis, Black People in America are taking to the streets to protest racism, another disease that cavalierly kills Young Black Boys and Young Black Girls, you must first understand the history of Black People in this country. A history that is as long as the Mississippi River—the artery of America’s slave trade. In 1776, America was founded on the idea that “All Men are Created Equal.” But Blacks were not included—for they were slaves, not men. It was not until 1865 that America outlawed slavery with the 13th Amendment. That was almost 155 years ago.
"If America is serious about race relations, she must first understand that there is no difference between the treatment of Blacks 150 years ago and the treatments of Blacks today. Today, thanks to cellphones and social media creating citizen journalists, we see the horrors that Blacks face every day. People are outraged at the sheer disregard for Black lives, but this isn’t new. America's disregard for Black lives has existed for as long as she has existed. It’s time for America to have an honest conversation with her past. Only then can we truly take another step towards equality."
J.D. Graduate 2021
Global Partnership for Education -Advisor
MY HERO - Global Outreach
Trey Carlisle won the Emerging Artist Award at MY HERO's International Film Festival in 2016 for his film Us and Us... about genocide in Cambodia.
His spoken word piece below encourages every one of us to stand up for equality and social justice.
Watch filmmaker/spoken word artist Trey Carlisle's electrifying performance of his original poem promoting tolerance.
Featured Hero | Bryan Stevenson
Trey Carlisle (above) writes about his hero, Attorney Bryan Stevenson (below). Stevenson leads the nation toward prison reform and racial equality through representing people of color who have received unjust treatment in the U.S. criminal justice system.
The film on right discusses the Equal Justice Initiative, which has won relief for hundreds of wrongfully convicted people, successfully argued before the Supreme Court to end life-without-parole sentences for children, challenged excessive sentencing, and more.
John Lewis is a U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader in Georgia who has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The following story and films highlight his important work.
A film about John Lewis on citizenship and character: "To be a good citizen is to obey the rules...the laws. Unless those laws conflict with your conscience."
In 1965, the historic Selma March known as Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. As a student, John Lewis co-led hundreds of peaceful marchers seeking voting rights for African Americans in the South.
This hero story about Ron Dellums is written by his daughter, Piper Dellums. Dellums was the Mayor of Oakland and served thirteen terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gabrielle Gorman is a Television and Film major at UCLA. She made the following films as a high school student and is known for her poetic approach.
Gabrielle was a student honoree at the 2016 MY HERO International Film Festival for her film Dear America. The film was made in response to the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
In 2014, she was a finalist for her film Bombingham. It honors the three young girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, by the KKK in 1963.
An expressionistic account of the bombing of the 17th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Amandla Stenberg, a mixed race actress, is committed to only playing strong characters. She is also passionate about passing over roles that she feels should be reserved for darker-skinned actresses, in her quest to thwart colorism.
10-year-old Jaysa speaks out against the asthma-inducing power plants in her town, citing environmental racism. Her words help get the last power plant shut down.
Institutionalized Racism: A Syllabus - JSTOR Daily
How can we help students understand George Floyd’s death in the context of institutionalized racism?
Teaching Tolerance: Bringing Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom
Educator Jamilah Pitts introduces ways to discuss Black Lives Matter across all grade levels.
Organizer created on 5/30/2020 9:08:49 PM by Shannon Luders-Manuel
Last edited 6/14/2021 1:58:01 PM by Jeanne Meyers