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Acting In and On the World

Acting In and On the World

The Oregon Diversity Network is an informal group of educators who have worked together since 2000 to provide the annual event called "Freedom Camp" with several key objectives:

To increase children's understanding of the Civil Rights Movement as a mass effort, not just the work and success of one individual.

To promote children's awareness and confidence that they, too, can work with others to change something that is unfair or unjust.

To help children learn about the importance of music in this and other struggles for social change.

Our hope with doing Theatre of the Oppressed is to provide practice for being activists. As educators for social justice, we cherish those stories from returning Freedom Campers where they tell us how they spoke up, for example, in the cafeteria when kids made fun of the "chubby girl." The empowerment gained from the theater doesn't just affect students. One of the volunteer 4th-grade teachers at Freedom Camp shared that she went back to her school and identified four potential allies-a Latino janitor who had been the target of racial slurs, a lesbian parent, and two teachers she'd never spoken with before-in her struggle to create a children's court to address racial slurs.

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