Teaching Activities (Free)

Just an Environment or a Just Environment?

Teaching Activity. By Hyung Kyu Nam. 2003. Explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism, and helps students understand how institutional racism is perpetuated in the post-Civil Rights era.
Time Periods: 20th Century
Themes: Racism & Racial Identity

This lesson explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism, and helps students understand the perpetuation of institutional racism in the post-Civil Rights era. Students perform a mock tribunal in which they will research, interpret, analyze and apply historical data as evidence of factors contributing to continued racial segregation and disparity in the United States.

Students watch Episode 3 of RACE – The Power of an Illusion and discuss institutional racism and racial segregation in the United States. In a culminating activity, students perform a mock tribunal, drawing from historical readings and related data to hypothesize about the causes of residential segregation and environmental racism in the U.S. Students will be required not only to watch the video and read the supplemental texts but also to apply the information actively as evidence in the tribunal performance. The lesson challenges students to understand the interplay of structural constraints, individual agency and multiple factors that combine to perpetuate racial inequity.

Download the lesson at www.pbs.org/race.