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How disability activists created change

Front page of Black Panther Party newspaper with headlines about 504 protests
During the 504 protests at the San Francisco Federal Building in 1977, the Black Panther Party provided support, including feeding the demonstrators during the 26-day sit-in.

This lesson has a sharable ready-made album of primary sources with an introduction essay by the author!

Using primary and secondary sources about protests by members of the Disability Rights Movement, students identify strategic actions taken by activists and evaluate them as to the level of personal risk or investment needed to participate. They consider them in relation to actions by African- American civil rights activists of that time and earlier, and of social justice activists in their own generation. (Link to pictured article in The Black Panther.) 

This well-constructed civics lesson developed by teacher Wendy Harris offers guidance for supporting student inquiry and reflection on tools of civic engagement that activists have used. Using small groups and class discussion, students reflect on the evolution of strategies for action and consider whether there are strategies from earlier periods that wouldn’t work now.