"I am the Change...are YOU?"
has been offered to high schools since 2000. This two-day retreat for high school students and teachers from one high school prepares participants to be leaders in making their school more inclusive and accepting of diversity. Up to 50 students along with faculty members examine prejudice and discrimination, and gain the skills they need to become energetic leaders in their classrooms, halls and communities. Students become effective in youth conflict resolution
, and teachers tell us that the Unitown experience gives them a "new respect and understanding" of their students and a "new enthusiasm" for teaching.
group writes a "School Action Plan for Inclusion" before they return to their campus. As part of their action plans, Unitowners often return to their campuses and form "Unity" or "Unitown" clubs, where they meet to continue the work they did together during Unitown.
JCA highly recommends the materials available through the City of Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission for developing a Youth Diversity Council at your school. More resources, tools, and information can be found at www.rcdcydc.org
High schools from across Arkansas are invited to contact Elizabeth Akama-Makia, Youth Programs Director, for more information on how to schedule a Unitown at your school. Available time slots are limited, so contact JCA today!
To read what students have to say about Unitown for Teens:
“'Got Influence?'” Little Rock Central students were given this very question when we attended Unitown. From the second we walked in the building we were challenged to break any lines created by race or sex barriers. We participated in role plays to determine what types of discrimination were apparent in all types of environments. We divided in to groups to list stereotypes. By the end of the day, I was much more aware of how prevalent and apparent stereotypes were in the world and how race and sex are still major problems facing American’s success. I learned a lot not only about the world and my friends but also about myself. I learned that I can still do things and make assumptions that can be considered prejudice even without realizing how hurtful what I am doing can be. From attending Unitown I now notice these simple acts and am working to change them in my life to be a more accepting and likewise accepted person."
"We all learned to really respect others and appreciate our differences."
"I learned things here that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else."
"It made me feel like I belonged."
"We talked about real issues."