The United States began – and has flourished – as a country of immigrants. Yet despite rapid changes in ethnic and cultural demographics, ingrained prejudices and stereotypes still prevail. What causes these long-entrenched beliefs and misunderstandings? Does the media contribute to these long-held beliefs, or can it help us come to grips with the past and present of the America we live in?
The educational outreach component of the My Journey Home project seeks to address the issue of prejudice and promote tolerance by furthering our understanding and definition of who is an “American.” The media literacy workshop in this section will allow your students to become more critical media users and to better understand media messages, and will prepare them to use the power of the media to produce their own multimedia essays about what it means to be an American. The winners of the national America, My Home multimedia essay contest will be posted to this site in late April.
In addition, four multidisciplinary, standards-based lesson plans for middle and high school students explore the broader themes of the series: the impact of political and historic events on personal lives; the alienation felt by minorities living in an America still coming to grips with diversity; the ever-blurring boundaries of geography, race, ethnicity and identity; and the changing definition of “home.”