One of the greatest frustrations we face at Race Project KC is that demand for participation exceeds our capacity to respond. We feel for student experiences to be meaningful they must be deep ones, yet in choosing to design a deep framework we necessarily limit the space available. So we know there are those who would like to join us who have not yet had the opportunity. From the start, we have made available on our Resources page as many tools for independent learning experiences as possible, and encourage all who are interested to explore those sources. Now, Covid-19 has helped us figure out how to do more. The pandemic has forced us to rethink how we create experiences for the 2020-21 school year in a virtual environment. Preparing our activities for remote use has made them more easily accessible for independent use as well. We are sharing our materials below as we build and test them this year. Feel free to take and use them for your own experiences. We hope they translate well to your specific settings and needs or, at the very least, are helpful inspiration for the work you are doing.
Welcome Letter and Introduction - Since we are not able to gather in person, we are mailing each student a box with books, journals, handouts, and other materials for each event. This is the welcome letter we sent in the box for this year's Identity Workshop. It describes an icebreaker and provides context for what follows. A second page presents the introduction we read during the workshop to set the tone and share goals for the activities.
Looking at Me Venn Diagram - A lens for considering your identity and sharing yourself with others.At the heart of this activity is the idea of perception--how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us--and how that shapes who we are. Because, whether we try to resist it or not, our behaviors are often shaped by expectations; we respond to what is expected of us, both internal and external expectations. How we are seen impacts what we do, and what we do expresses who we are.
I Contain Multitudes Writing Activity - From Race Project KC partner, poet, and guest presenter Glenn North, this uses an Elizabeth Acevedo poem as inspiration for self-exploration through writing on the themes of self-identity and intersectionality.
Additional Ideas to Consider - A workshop provides time for only so many activities. Here are a few pages of ideas we wanted to explore and didn't have the chance. They are great launching points for conversation and are easily adapted into further activities.
Welcome Letter and Introduction - This month’s workshop was organized in collaboration with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Student boxes included art materials and instructions on gathering “spirit-filled” objects to create a Vault of Lineage led by artist Glyneisha Johnson.
An opening discussion on representation in museum collections
Icebreakers including a “Landscape Escape,” a “Mood Check with Portraiture,” and a scavenger hunt exploring family heritage
Conversations on specific contemporary works of art exploring identity
Glyneisha Johnson’s art-making prompts
Glyneisha Johnson – Learn more about artist Glyneisha Johnson’s work on her personal website.
To explore representation and activist art further, register for a free virtual school tour with The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and check out pre and post-tour resources.
For more information on the works of art highlighted in this workshop, please see: Vanessa German’s Glory; Nick Cave’s Property; Wendy Red Star’s Winter.
Health Equity Workshop
Welcome Letter and Introduction - In this workshop we looked at how history, race, and place impact health outcomes. It included a presentation by Children's Mercy Hospital, a motivational speech by Wesley Hamilton, and a writing exercise with poet Glenn North. The letter includes an icebreaker about anger, using different colors of M&Ms as prompts.
Anti-Racist Journaling Prompt - Poor people are a class, black people are a race. Black poor people are a race class. Consider the ways in which class and race intersect with health and healthcare. What scares you the most when you think about that in terms of your own healthcare? Your family's healthcare?
Kansas City Black History website - Features a video with Glenn North, historical photographs, and a booklet about he African American story of history and culture in our community. New and still developing and expanding. From the Local Investment Commission (LINC KC), the Black Archives of Mid-America, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, and the Kansas City Public Library.
Land of Opportunity - Kansas City PBS special telling the story of integration in the Santa Fe Place neighborhood as one example in the fight for housing rights across America following the Great Depression.
Children's Mercy Advisory boards -Advisory Boards are dedicated to helping Children's Mercy continue providing the region's best pediatric health care. Board members work with hospital leadership to incorporate the perspectives of our patients, families, and community into the care experience.
The official CDC website about Social Determinates of Health, which were a central topic of the presentation by Children's Mercy during the workshop.
Disabled But Not Really - This nonprofit organization founded by workshop keynote speaker Wesley Hamilton. This organization "aims to provide equal access to the underserved disabled community through programs that focus on fitness wellness and mental health."
Black Mamas Matter Alliance - A resource to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice.
Welcome Letter and Introduction - This workshop is the current version of one of the first activities ever developed for Race Project KC students, a driving tour through Kansas City to personally experience our segregated neighborhoods. With crowded buses not an option this pandemic year, we worked with partners to create an alternate version, which is the . . .
Dividing Lines virtual driving tour - An interactive, 360-degree video with narration, interviews, and supplemental material. It is a 90-minute viewing experience that comes as close to replicating the actual tour as possible. See also our . . .
Resources page of this website - There you can download the PDF of the Story of Segregation Tour, the guide for students when they are in buses, with directions you can safely follow through the city at your own pace. You can also download the Dividing Lines app and be guided through the tour by an audio narration. Each of the three options tells a different version of the same story, emphasizing different facts and sights. It is not repetitive to enjoy them all.
Building the Troost Wall: Structural Racism in Kansas City - A 13-minute video featuring Nathaniel Bozarth, narrator of the Dividing Lines tours - "For Challenge 6, 'Get Uncomfortable,' I decided to go to KC and eat at a fancy place on the Plaza (uncomfortable for me) and then walk with Nathaniel Bozarth to a place on Prospect Ave for a second meal (even more uncomfortable). Along the way we explore the making of the Troost Wall and the history of structural racism in KC."
The Truth About Troost - Made by Race Project KC students - "Troost is a place where people in Kansas City don't go, unless you live there. Tanner Colby, author of Some of My Best friends are Black, gives an in-depth explanation why segregation in the housing industry in Kansas City has portrayed Troost as a dividing line between the middle class and poverty, white and black people, and what needs to be done to integrate communities not only surrounding Kansas City, but in other major cities what still deal with racial segregation."
We Are Wyandotte - Home of the H.E.A.T. Report that uncovers health inequities based on place of residence in Wyandotte County, with connections to historical redlining practices, a video series, related comics, and more. You can download the Redlined comic books.
WATCH HERE FOR FUTURE ADDITIONS
Not included are our dance breaks courtesy of Break Free KC.