Hispanic Identity: From Dreams to Civic Participation

byMeredith C. Tilp
The 2008 election of President Barack Obama provides the opportunity to look deeply at evolving civil rights in the United States, and to address the question: "Why Hispanics in the US have not achieved the same degree of success in the US as African-Americans?"

Phase one of this unit will explore the questions: "Who am I? Where did I come from and what is my cultural background?" We will read Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama. Using Dreams from My Father, we will decode his father's heritage and mother and grandparents' influence, and study his education and values.

In phase two, students will examine the topic of discrimination. Students will explore how change has come about slowly in the southwest for New Mexico citizens and Mexican immigrants. The cases of Hernandez v. Texas, the Lemon Grove incident "Tierra Amarilla" and the record of Senator David Chavez will be examined.

Phase three explores the resources, rationale and practice of community development and civic participation. Each student will research, evaluate and volunteer for 8 weeks in a community organization in Santa Fe. Students will do a project including writing a resume, seeking recommendations and writing a diary on their work.

(Developed for Government, Economics, and U.S, History, grades 11-12; recommended for Social Studies, Government, Economics, and U.S. History, grades 10-12)

Comments (2)

    Mary Gladys Mendoza (University of Phoenix, Austin, TX)
    Subject taught:
    RLT's Niece
    My Uncle Reies Lopez Tijerina has stated, "I never lost a case".

    I just happened on this site.:)
    Nagla Bedir (Perth Amboy High School, Perth Amboy, NJ)
    Subject taught: Social Studies, Grade: 10
    Resources & Praise
    This is a great unit - One that I would really like to implement in my civics class. Are there any more concrete resources for this unit? I could not find the attachments that it mentions. Thank you!


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