YOUTH IN ACTION
& RAMI NASHASHIBI
A Legacy of Combating Urban Poverty
As both a citizen and politician, Robert F. Kennedy “had a real affinity for the hurt people of the world.” In cities throughout the United States, this dedication to equality manifested in a commitment to alleviating urban poverty. Guiding his work was a belief in the power of community organizing, a process that would allow members of affected communities to play a role in creating change and that would provide both resources and political influence to communities that “[had] been excluded.” Particularly, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Brooklyn community where extreme affluence and poverty were close neighbors, Kennedy coalesced a group of politicians and leaders from the business community to implement community action plans that would address poverty in black communities.
In this lesson plan, we explore Robert F. Kennedy’s legacy of urban economic justice. As we build a bridge between the past and the present and reflect on the work of the advocates of then and now, we should keep one question in mind: what do we do next?
BECOME A DEFENDER
The activities listed below are suggestions for how students can become human rights Defenders in their classroom and beyond.
Choose one of the following topics: health, education, employment, housing. Research the status of these areas in a large city (NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, etc.) or in your own community. After, organize a group of your classmates to design an intervention that will address one of these issue areas.
Volunteer with organizations that focus on urban poverty.
Organize a benefit concert to raise money to support Rami Nashashibi’s work.
Host a “book drive” and donate books to underfunded schools in your community or in cities such as NYC, Chicago, LA and DC.