By Derek Reichenbecher
Choices Teaching Fellow and High School Teacher, Farmingdale, NJ


Last summer I attended the Choices Leadership Institute on Human Rights. One of our guest speakers was, El Fadel Arbab , a refuge from Darfur who now lives in Maine.  (Read about his incredible story here). I was so touched by El-Fadel’s story this summer that I wanted to bring him to Howell, NJ to tell his story to our students.  When I relayed the story to my supervisor in September he was hooked.  Our school was shut down for almost two weeks due to Hurricane Sandy, so we will have school on MLK Day.  I’m pretty excited that El-Fadel will be our guest speaker that day.

Inviting a speaker on MLK day to talk about present day human rights violations around the world  is a great way to help students place the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in a broader global context.  A few Choices units that can help teachers make these types of connections are the Freedom Now: The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, Competing Visions of Human Rights: Questions for U.S. Policy, and Confronting Genocide: Never Again.

The Choices 2013 Summer Leadership InstituteThe 1960s: Upheaval at Home and Abroad, will include significant content from the Civil Rights unit.