Journey to Justice

Ark Academy, Brent, North West London

Journey to Justice workshops with Year Nine, March 2017

Joseph Coward, a History teacher at Ark Academy in Brent found JtoJ via our website. He wrote:

“I was keen to find a museum / outreach organisation which teaches the history of the US Civil Rights Movement. We wanted a cross-curricular event that both increased students’ knowledge of History and increased their engagement in citizenship and social justice.”

After careful planning, JtoJ’s Martin Spafford, Rosaleen Lyons and Tania Aubeelack went to Ark Academy to run 55 minute sessions for 8 groups of Year 9 students over two mornings.

They told the story of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike, ending with a clip of Elmore Nickleberry describing their working conditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW-V8buCFm0

In groups, students then learned about Ruby Bridges and Barbara Henry – a story of school desegregation in 1960s New Orleans full of violence and bravery and about  British child migrants to Australia between the 1920s and 60s. All three of which involved successful campaigns for justice.

They asked students: What qualities did campaigners need to have and what factors were needed to succeed?  The facilitators then asked pupils to connect those examples from history to two disturbing contemporary cases: a student in Leicester who took his own life because of online bullying and children seeking asylum in Australia who are stuck in the grim conditions of a refugee camp on the island of Nauru. Students had to consider what the objectives of a campaign might be, who a campaign might be aimed at and what factors would be needed for it to succeed.

“The sessions were a great success. So many students were incredibly engaged.” (Joseph Coward)