by Emily Coccia, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress
In middle school, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird
inspired Emily Coccia to imagine the possibilities of the law to bring communities closer to justice. In college, it was the world of critical theory—such as feminist and queer theory—however, that helped her understand the other paths available to those wishing to enact social change.
I grew up in a very small town in rural Wisconsin. When I looked at my classmates it was like looking in a mirror. Because of that, I never realized that there were many people who were facing hardships because of their minority status and people who were taking advantage of them. Fast forward to my sophomore year of high school. Mrs. Shaw made it her mission to open our eyes. She wanted to expose us to the realities of this world. While I questioned it at the time, she showed us the entire Eyes on the Prize
documentary. She would…
by Lou Nachman, Charlotte Mecklenburg School District, NC
Teacher Lou Nachman discusses how his experiences overseas in the Navy changed him from an indifferent student to embrace life as a teacher and enthusiastic traveler.