Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Heeding the Call: A Program on Justicemaking for Junior High School Youth

Taking It Home: The Call for Understanding

I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace. — Helen Keller

In Today's Workshop...

We explored different ways to reach new understanding, including reading or hearing true-life accounts and communicating with non-violent or giraffe language. We also spent a little time painting pictures like members of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, to gain more understanding by experiencing life as others do.

Understanding: First Person Narratives

These are just a few resources of first person narratives from people in marginalized communities:

(New York: Little Brown and Company, 1994), has fifteen cross-cultural, multi-cultural narratives from the gay and lesbian community. Another resource is Two Teenagers in Twenty by Ann Heron (New York: Alyson Books, 1994).

LD Online, a website with resources for the learning disabled, has first person accounts of what life is like for the learning challenged, including people living with ADHD (attention deficient, including a moving account from author Patricia Polacco on her dyslexia. Listen to her story, then read one of Polacco's books, like Pink and Say (New York: Philomel Books, 1994), the true story of two boys— one white, one Black—during the Civil War.

Understanding: Experiencing Life As Another Person

  • To Be Fat Like Me (2007), directed by Douglas Barr for the Lifetime channel, is about a teenager who dons a fat suit and discovers what it is like to be a part of this marginalized community.

Differently-Abled and Accessibility

  • Check out the list at Disabled World of people with disabilities who made major contributions to our world. John F. Kennedy, Jr. had asthma. How different might our country be if he had let his disability prevent him from going into politics and trying to make the world a better place?
  • Teens With Physical Disabilities: Real-Life Stories of Meeting the Challenges, by Glenn Alan Cheney (Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 1995) is written for grades 6-9 and includes narrative written by youth on what everyday life is like when living with a disability.
  • Booklist Online has created a great list of books, fiction and non-fiction, concerning young people who are differently-abled.
  • Have you see the movie The Miracle Worker? It is based on a play by the same name by William Gibson (New York: Samuel French, 1956) and is about the early childhood of Helen Keller, who grew up hearing and seeing impaired.

Sierra Leone

  • Raziq's experiences give us a tiny glimpse of Sierra Leone. Yet in the same way that a person is multi-dimensional, so is a country. Find out more about the country of Sierra Leone.