Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

African American Perspectives
on Philanthropy
Passion, Courage & Conviction



Units/Lessons K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12 Briefing Papers Concepts in Philanthropy Profiles in Philanthropy


Unit Title: Affirmative Action


In this unit, students explore the history of Affirmative Action in the United States from Plessy v. Ferguson 1869 to the present. The class uses the Internet to read primary source documents from Plessy, Brown v. Board of Education 1954 and United Steelworkers v. Weber 1979. The class views documentary footage from the PBS series Eyes on the Prize and answers questions from that video on the Little Rock Central High School desegregation in 1957. Students explore recent Affirmative Action cases, then participate in a "mock" Affirmative Action Supreme Court case. Throughout the unit, students relate Core Democratic Values to the different aspects of Affirmative Action. Students finish the unit by writing a column on Affirmative Action for the school or local newspaper.


Lesson Title: How Do Leaders Communicate Their Ideas? A Look at ...


To enable students to identify the personal attributes of those individual volunteers who chose to be involved in the abolition movement and in the fight for women's suffrage.


Unit Title: Majority Rule–Minority Rights


In a civil society, we need to protect the rights of the minority in order to protect government from itself and the corrupting potential of power. It is in the enlightened self-interest of the majority to protect the rights of the minority because one day the majority will find itself in the minority. Organizations in the independent sector work to protect the rights of the minority.


Unit Title: Sports Legends and Philanthropy—Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods and Jackie Joyner-Kersee


Some people who gain great success choose to act as responsible citizens in a philanthropic way. Using the examples of three famous sports people, students learn that these persons, not content to rest on their record in sports, chose areas of interest and concern to them and acted as responsible citizens. Students then select their favorite hero and write an essay or create a visual or song about one of the sports heroes' philanthropic actions and add their own possible philanthropies to their essay, poster or song.


Unit Title: The Sensitive Side of Philanthropy


This unit has been developed to introduce the theme of philanthropy into the literary novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Not only is philanthropy an underlying theme in this work, but promoting sensitivity along with philanthropy provides the students with a contrast for discussing prejudice and racism as major themes within the novel.


Lesson Title: What Choices Do Leaders Have to Make?


To help students identify the fundamental components of philanthropic leadership through the life of Ida B. Wells.


Unit Title: Women in Philanthropy


Philanthropy is a diverse American tradition. This two or three day lesson is about a successful turn of the nineteenth century successful African American businesswoman Madam C.J. Walker who supported many philanthropic causes. Students also research ways they themselves might take philanthropic action. This lesson may by used in units on Great America Leaders, Women's History, African American History or Turn of the Century American Culture or as a stand-alone mini-unit.