I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other. — Harriet Tubman, conductor on the Underground Railroad
This session lifts up Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and returned again and again to the South to lead more than 300 people north to freedom in the Northern States and Canada. We focus on the second Unitarian Universalist Source, "Words and deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love," expressed in children's language as "The people of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair."
The children learn that love calls us to be courageous and to take action in the face of evil. They will apply this learning to their own lives in a role play activity which focuses on the bystander—a person who witnesses injustice or unkindness. Participants will learn that enslaved people used code songs to communicate escape plans and, in the metaphor of following the stars as our guide, they learn the song, "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which refers to using the Big Dipper to find the North Star and travel north toward freedom.
This session will benefit from a leader comfortable with singing and song-leading.
This session will:
- Deepen understanding of the second Unitarian Universalist Source, in child-friendly language "The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair"
- Encourage empathy and affirm courage, through a story of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
- Introduce the concept of a "bystander" and the choice to get involved when something is wrong
- Empower children to act as agents of justice and kindness
- Reinforce the metaphor of following the stars so love can guide us
- Help children evaluate what makes a good leader.
- Explore the second Unitarian Universalist source, in child-friendly language "The people of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair," through a story about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad
- Discuss the "bystander" role and experience, in role play, ways a bystander can choose to get involved when something is wrong
- Explore what makes a good leader and practice ways to respond to injustice, unkindness, or when a leader promotes a poor choice
- Develop empathy through identifying with enslaved people seeking freedom.