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Resource February 3, 2022

Exploring Personal Connections to Racial Justice through Social Emotional Learning

Justice cloud. Image courtesy of Tracy Crowley. United States, 2020.
Justice cloud. Image courtesy of Tracy Crowley. United States, 2020.

This unit was created by Tracy Crowley, an Information and Media Literacy Specialist at Jack London Middle School in Wheeling, Illinois as part of the fall 2020 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program on Arts, Journalism, and Justice. It is designed for facilitation across six 60-minute class periods.

For more units created by Pulitzer Center Fellows in this cohort, click here.


Students will be able to

  • Learn about and identify underreported news stories.
  • Recognize and name the feelings and perspectives of others.
  • Consider societal factors when making decisions.
  • Contribute to the well-being of their school and community through art.

Unit Overview:

This short unit allows students to approach a variety of racial justice topics and connect those topics to themselves and their communities through a lens of social-emotional learning. Students will study journalism as a craft while exploring racial justice themes. After exploring different forms of art, students will choose one or more modalities to create an Amplifier art piece that expresses their personal connection to the theme of racial justice.

Resources for Facilitating this Unit:

Click here for a PDF outlining lesson plans for this unit, including warm-ups, discussion questions, activities, resources, and worksheets. 

Performance Task

Students will create Amplifier art using words, illustrations, and symbols that capture or amplify racial justice themes. 

Facilitation note: Amplifier has a free online workshop  for educators. The workshop is a four-lesson unit intended to support students who want to explore the artistic process of creating Amplifier art and are more interested in incorporating photography than illustration.  The workshop materials can be found here.

Click here to view examples of Amplifier art created by students at Jack London Middle School in fall 2020.