Many Civil Rights campaigns and organizations realize the value and power of the media to help disseminate and legitimate their platforms and goals. As such, historically and even still today, regular publications are a cornerstone of any suc

Option One: Plan a Local or Campus Newspaper

Many Civil Rights campaigns and organizations realize the value and power of the media to help disseminate and legitimate their platforms and goals. As such, historically and even still today, regular publications are a cornerstone of any successful Movement for equality and equity. In this option, you will formulate a plan to start a campus or local Civil Rights newspaper (plan only: you do not have to implement this.)

Examples of past Civil Rights papers to research and explore: The Crisis, The Pittsburgh Courier, The Liberator, The Chicago Defender, Muhammad Speaks.

See these articles:

What to include in your plan:

  1. Distribution plan (weekly, monthly, a physical copy or digital/online version)
  2. Demographic plan (who is your audience and why)
  3. Funding and costs (where are you getting the money from (donations? Advertisements (and who would want to advertise in your paper), and how will you use it?)
  4. Types of articles and contributors
  5. Your mission statement and goal
  6. Plans for growth (once you get going, how will you continue to grow?)
  7. Layout of paper (what will the front page look like? Graphics? Title of paper? How will you organize it?

Along with this detailed plan, compose an example article that you would use in the paper. It should be 200-800 words (ideal length is 500 words)

Option Two: Plan (do not implement) a Demonstration

Of course, public demonstrations are critical to activism and progress. For this option, plan a PEACEFUL demonstration (plan only: do not implement.)

See this website for what to consider:

What to include in your plan:

  1. What type of demonstration will you select and why? (Boycott, sit-in, march?)
  2. How will you advertise it (both for participants and for media coverage)?
  3. When and where will it be and why?
  4. How will you record it (and how will you make it available to the public once recorded)?
  5. What is the goal, aim, or cause (provide a mission statement)?
  6.  What are your rights as a demonstrator and how will you deal with law enforcement?
  7. Do you need a permit for your planned demonstration?
  8. Provide examples of slogans and signs to use.

Included in this plan should be a short 500-800 word explanation of your cause, and why you believe that your demonstration is needed (using the course here would be wise).

Option Three: Create a Civil Rights Blog

We are living in an increasingly global world, and the speed at which we can spread information to a diverse and global audience is ever increasing. For this option, you will use the power of the internet to make change by generating a Civil Rights blog.

Some hints on blogging and writing for the web can be found in our lecture section under ‘Silex Lectures’.

Your job is to start a Civil Rights Blog. Consider the two following sites:

NOTE: The blog should be visually appealing (scan-able, use of images, style and design considered), have a clear mission statement, and have at least three posts of between 200-800 words each.

Option Four: Attend a SAFE Demonstration

While we want to be able to organize our own events, sometimes we can also lend great assistance to anti-racism and the civil rights cause simply by participating. For this option you should attend a SAFE AND LEGAL rally, protest, demonstration, sit-in, boycott, etc. Make sure that it is a legitimately organized and non-violent demonstration. DO NOT ENDANGER YOURSELF IN ANY WAY. If you are at a rally or protest and it becomes in any way uncomfortable or dangerous, immediately leave: you can still use even that experience for this option. Your job will be as follows:

While at the rally, participate at whatever level (so long as it is safe and legal) and take notes for a short report that includes the following:

  1. What is the mission statement, purpose, or cause of the rally, protest, or demonstration?
  2. How are the other participants behaving? Is it effective or not?
  3. What is the reaction of the public to the protest? Are they interested? Afraid? Dismissive? Hostile?
  4. What have the organizers of the demonstration done well?
  5. What could be done better about the demonstration?
  6. What are your personal reflections about the demonstration?

Your report should include all of this information, and should be at least 800 words long (but longer is fine). Use the course ideas, terms, history, and lectures to help you answer these questions. 

Option Five: Volunteer for the CCLA or Review Them

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is very much like the Canadian version of the NAACP. For this option, if you wish to really be anti-racist and add a valuable line to your resume, you can volunteer to help the CCLA for a short period (they request a three-month commitment, but there are likely many ways you might help). If you choose to volunteer, then all I need is a confirmation letter from the CCLA that you are enrolled to volunteer and you will receive full marks for this.

Alternately, you can provide a report on the CCLA by reviewing their website and researching their history. This should include:

  1. What is their mission statement?
  2. How do they accomplish their goals (petitions? Demonstrations? Online campaigns? Cold calls?)
  3. What causes are they currently fighting for?
  4. How are they funded?
  5. What is their history (how long have they been around? Who started it? Why?)
  6. Are they accomplishing their goals?
  7. Do they provide training?
  8. Is their website effective?
  9. Would you consider volunteering at a later date (when you are settled in your career or out of school?)

Your report should answer all of these questions and be no shorter than 800 words (longer is fine)

Option Six: Attend a Relevant Historical Site

There are, often to many Canadians’ surprise, several important Civil Rights historic sites. For this option, you should attend one of these historic sites and generate a report.

See this site for options:

Your report should answer the following:

  1. What is the story behind the site you visited?
  2. How can you connect the site you visited directly to what we have been discussing in the class?
  3. Is the site informative?
  4. Does the site do a good job of presenting information?
  5. Are the people working at the site friendly and informative?
  6. What could the site do to improve?
  7. What do you notice about other guests at the site?
  8. How does the site make you feel?

Make sure when answering these questions, you are working hard to use the terms, examples, readings, and lectures from the course. The report should be at least 800 words (but it can be longer), and you need to scan or present your ticket, a picture of you at the site, or a brochure from the site as proof of your visit.

Option Seven: Create a Public Service Announcement

Often, the Canadian government at both the Federal and Provincial levels will provide Public Service Announcements. These are designed to inform, educate, disseminate, and generate awareness. Your job is to create a PSA video or radio spot.

See this article for hints about how to make a PSA:

Your PSA should have a clearly defined purpose and message, and should be as high quality as possible. Your PSA should be between 30-60 seconds long. You should research your topic, and make sure you have relevant and important information. Also, it should be clear if you are trying to inform, educate, or generate action. The video file or mp4 file should be provided in the submission folder.

Option Eight: Interview a Leader

Often, we can learn a great deal by speaking with the leaders of our time. This option asks you to conduct a recorded interview with any activist. The issues do not have to be race (any form of oppression is an acceptable topic), and the person you interview does not have to be world-renown (though it would certainly be cool if they were: I keep trying to get an interview with the Warrior-Poet Ice Cube, but he’s busy or some nonsense). Your job will be to find a suitable person to interview and ask about some of the big issues regarding oppression that we have discussed in the class. Some good questions to consider are:

  1. What is the form of oppression you are most familiar with?
  2. What can we do to combat oppression?
  3. What is the history of this particular oppression?
  4. Is this a global concern? National?
  5. What are your goals?
  6. What is your opinion about the best means of demonstrating?
  7. Is legislation the best way to combat oppression?
  8. Do you think all oppression is systemic?
  9. What do you think about the distinction between overt and covert oppressions? How do they differ and how do we combat them?
  10. What do you see as the future of your efforts?

This should be a recorded interview and should be about 3-5 minutes long and submitted as an audio file to the submission folder.

Option Nine: Generate a Petition

Creating a strong petition and getting people to back it is also a viable strategy against oppression. This option asks you to generate a petition and get as many signatures on it as you can. You will not be graded on the number of signatures, but rather on the quality of the petition itself.

For tips on generating a good petition, see this article:

This should be a synchronized petition (online and physical). I will need the web address and a physical copy of your petition. Make sure to follow all of the guidelines in the above article as this is what I am looking for.

Option Ten: Independent Proposal

If you have another idea for how to meet the requirements of your Silex learning outcome (that is, designing a plan, implementation, experiential learning, community involvement) please email me your proposed idea. I MUST APPROVE YOUR INDEPENDENT OPTION BEFORE YOU BEGIN WORKING ON IT. The proposal must be submitted no later than the end of week five (Sunday at 11:11 A.M.) to allow time to complete.

Submission Details:

No matter your choice, the final product should be polished, proofread, appealing to the eye, error free and submitted to the submission folder (in doc. PDF. or an accessible media file) before the deadline (Week Seven Sunday at 11:11 A.M.)


Have fun with this.