Alternate Activity 1: Rights Issues in Our Time
Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Journals or notebooks, one for each participant
- Variety of writing and drawing materials, including paper, pens, pencils, fine point color markers, and color pencils
- Several articles on current events that illuminate questions about legal, natural, or human rights. Check these websites for current articles: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, UU World, Standing on the Side of Love, and Amnesty International
Preparation for Activity
- Choose, print, and display several articles that illuminate ethical or moral issues having to do with rights. Include enough articles for participants to work in groups of three, each group with a different article.
- Set out drawing materials where all can reach them.
- Write on newsprint, and set aside:
- What right or rights are in question? Are they natural rights, legal rights, human rights, or something else?
- How is it decided that something is a right? Who makes such a decision?
Description of Activity
Invite participants to examine the displayed articles and select one story/issue they find compelling. Invite them to form groups of three, read the chosen article together, then write or draw in their individual journals, highlighting what moves them about or connects them to the issue. Ask: "Do you feel an ethical or moral obligation to do something about the issue in your article? If so, what?" (Ask for volunteers to move, if needed to even the groups' size.
Allow 15 minutes for participants to read the articles and to write. Then, post the newsprint you have prepared and invite small groups to discuss the questions. Allow ten minutes for small group conversation, and then re-gather the group and invite comments and observations.