Whitworth student to bring Civil Rights history to area schools - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whitworth student to bring Civil Rights history to area schools

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President Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act with Martin Luther King. President Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act with Martin Luther King.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Whitworth student Elizabeth Porter is overseeing the implementation of a new program called Teach The Movement.

The program, originally developed by Whitman College faculty and staff, including Dr. Kate Shuster of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, brings college students to K-12 classrooms around Washington to teach Civil Rights history.

"I'm passionate about the program and I want it to be on our campus and I was given the opportunity to do it," said Porter.

Porter hopes that the program will help improve how Civil Rights history in the classroom. She wants students to know the Civil Rights movement didn't happen out of nowhere. She wants them to think critically and not feel uncomfortable when talking about things like violence that impacted the Civil Rights movement.

"The biggest thing that's missing is depth and breadth of what is taught in public schools. For instance, how long they're taking to teach the curriculum itself, how often they're teaching it, as well as what led up to the Civil Rights movement."

Porter says Whitworth is still in the process of implementing the Teach the Movement program and creating the framework, but hopes the curriculum will impact students in Washington and beyond.

"Hopefully [there will be] changes in the school system. In what they're doing and what they're teaching. But also, the school system is already willing to see those changes, so hopefully we can get every school system to be a part of that, to be willing to start creating changes so students can find themselves in what they're learning."

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