Throughout history, individuals, groups and movements have used non-violent resistance strategies to take a stand about something they believe in and to effect change. Recently, in response to the President-elect’s campaign promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, many localities and cities have re-affirmed their commitment to their sanctuary policies. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center estimates that more than 500 counties and cities have some kind of policy limiting cooperation with the federal immigration authorities in order to protect undocumented residents from deportation. Sanctuary cities are an example of non-violent resistance in which people strive to make a statement about an issue, achieve social justice goals and inspire others to do the same.
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to understand what non-violent resistance is and how it relates to issues in the news, reflect on the purpose and outcomes of non-violent resistance, both currently and throughout history and write a speech about an issue with a call to action for implementing non-violent resistance.