Movement and Migration: Honoring Personal and Collective Journeys
Contributor: Alameda County Office of Education
“Art is a tool that an ally could use to unearth the myth of meritocracy, find the cracks and fissures in the institutional foundation and to begin to force a paradigm shift toward justice. We must empower our students, through arts integration, education, and activism, to be allies to the oppressed and correct the wrongs of an unjust system.”
–High School Science teacher, Berkeley High School, Berkeley, CA
The purpose of this module is to build community and create allies that will advocate for justice by:
- Filling in the gaps of our collective histories to lift up the stories that are often omitted
- Expressing, respecting, and honoring our stories of human struggle: forced removal, economic challenges, immigration policies, resilience, hope, and triumph.
Many people have taken, or were forced to take, journeys of migration due to government policies and/or the drive to seek a better life; these are the journeys that have us living where we now reside. This learning module lifts up the stories that reflect our multiple journeys. By exploring and using art, creating “suitcases” and writing letters in the voices of the journeyers, participants can express their stories.
The workshop at the core of this module, Movement and Migration: Honoring Personal and Collective Journeys, comes from the Alameda County Office of Education’s Arts Integration Specialist Program. In this dynamic professional development program, teachers learn how to use the arts to teach critical thinking so that students understand the world as it is today. In turn the students will be able to employ their skills, knowledge, and creative voices to envision and reconfigure a just world of tomorrow.
Target Audience: Educators, youth, community service workers, and others
Materials: computer, projector, screen, collage materials: maps, scissors, glue, 9” x 12” x 4” mailing boxes, masking tape. Optional: paint, brushes, oil pastels, markers, fabric. Please be sure to use the PowerPoint in the presentation format, otherwise the hyperlinks will not work.
Time: The facilitator makes the determination based on the time available. Sections can be divided and used in many ways. This can be a full-day workshop of 4-6 hours, or may be broken into components of 2-3 hours or even hour-long sessions.
Section 1: Recording Life Journeys and Paths
To begin the module, listen to the powerful words of Spanish poet Antonio Machado in the voice of Cuban singer Pipo Zerquera singing "Caminante no hay camino."
Section 2: Watching the Trains Go By
Look at this work of art by artist Romare Bearden and listen to audio commentary by musician Winton Marsalis from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Website. Reflect on what you noticed and heard.
Section 3: Movement and Migration
In this two-part workshop participants articulate the struggle and triumph of a person’s immigration or migration story through art, research, letter writing and theater. The workshop is a catalyst for expanded consciousness, healing and collective vision of living together in harmony.
Section 4: Journey from Aztlán to the Promised Land
Section 5: Action Steps & Resources