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In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Participants hear and discuss the story of Lucretia Mott, examine the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, and discuss the progress of women's rights since 1848.
Read the story aloud. Ask for initial reactions. What did the youth think of the story? Had they heard of Lucretia Mott before? If so, in what context?
Ask participants if they had heard of the first Women's Rights Convention, which was organized by Lucretia Mott, a Quaker, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a Unitarian, in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. Tell the group more than 300 women and men attended, and 100 signed the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments on the rights of women. The United States had become a nation only 72 years before.
Distribute Handout 1, Declaration of Sentiments. Invite volunteers to read it aloud, taking turns by paragraph. Then, ask for reactions.
Expand discussion with these points:
Distribute paper and writing materials. Invite participants to make two columns—"equal" and "unequal"—and use them to list observations from their own experience:
If they do not bring it up, remind participates that inequity can work either way. There may be areas where males lack a freedom or an opportunity that females enjoy.
In this discussion of gender equality and inequality, be aware of the implications for LBGTQ people. How does gender injustice affect gay man and lesbians? How does gender bias and discrimination affect transsexual people? Perceptions that gender is binary (only two gender identities—male and female) and that there are appropriate roles for "males" and "females," limit the freedom and opportunities for people of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
Give the group about five minutes to write examples of "equal" and unequal" on their papers. Then, lead participants to share their comments with the group, using this process:
After all have shared, ask participants:
Be mindful of the likelihood that someone in the group may be questioning their gender identity. Do not ask the youth to identify themselves as male or female. Avoid categorical remarks that indicate gender binary and do not make generalizations about boys and girls or "male" and "female" behavior or traits.
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Last updated on Wednesday, October 29, 2014.
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