Ask yourself, what world do you intend for our children. ...?
We intend for a world of freedom. Not only freedom from slavery, but freedom from the vicious cycle that creates slavery and is created by it. This cycle of demands confuses luxuries for needs and seeks them at any cost -- including the enslavement of other people and of ourselves. We are working to break this cycle. We know there is another way to be human beings together. This knowledge grants us choice -- the foundation for freedom. We believe that with freedom comes responsibility. We are the.or.
The 'or' is ever present.
TheseThingsTakeTime is a customizable curriculum for the 21st century emphasizing individualized learning across disciplines, problem solving and action from understanding. TheseThingsTakeTime guides students, and all involved, to explore how the existence and acceptance of waste affects the entire planet. The curriculum uses the cotton t-shirt, a common item that most of us own in multiples yet spend little time considering, to exemplify how one seemingly simple product has a very complicated story. To do this all participants study the life cycle of their personal t-shirt starting with the present, continuing into the past and finishing with an examination of their t-shirt’s future...made possible by their decisions.
The curriculum includes over 40 activities that explore how the materials in a single cotton t-shirt impact the health of the economy, environment, and society on a local and global scale. While certain activities can be run separately, the curriculum is designed for use across disciplines and throughout the entire year to create a common and tangible thread between traditional content.
With access to thesethingstaketime.org, each unit may be viewed by teachers, students, and parents. Units are comprised of narratives and supporting activities that users can easily mark, save and rearrange to suit their individual needs. The digital nature of the curriculum permits navigation by common core standards and disciplines, as well as by types of activities and assessments. The content is organized to promote introspection and frequent peer interaction offline, creating memorable learning experiences for all involved.
Access to the current alpha version of the curriculum site is on an invitational basis. For further inquiry please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collectofus.org is an online platform for global peer education. Although Collectofus serves as a site for social interaction, it is first and foremost a site for educational exploration and clarification. Through the platform, students are free to explore any topic that interests them, such as dance, minimum wage laws, school lunches, solar energy, pets, trends in fashion, pollution, modern day slavery, election processes and music. Students can compare the contents of news articles and textbooks to the firsthand accounts from their peers across borders. With videos, photos and text, participants separate deeply rooted cultural stereotypes from the current feelings and actions of their peers. Such interactions lead students to examine their own preconceptions and to consider things they might take for granted.
Participants in the Collectofus Peer Exchange or in the Collectofus Global Leaders Program are connected to their peers through the platform on multiple levels: one-to-one, school-to-school, and city-to-city, among others. This allows students to choose their audience and feel more comfortable with their privacy protected. Content on Collectofus is primarily driven by the students themselves; however, members of the.or, classroom teachers and industry professionals, as well as class discussions and the TheseThingsTakeTime curriculum offer varying degrees of guidance.
Students can use Collectofus to work together on a variety of projects, sharing knowledge with their peers in the classroom or across an ocean. Seeing from new perspectives students come to redefine words and reframe ideas. As true global citizens, students on Collectofus make choices based on the impact of their actions at home and abroad.
Our object exchange project creates a microcosm of global trade for education. Participants begin by designing and creating an item for someone else, somewhere else. Each person is partnered with a peer across borders through the exchange of their items. Not only does the exchange serve as a creative outlet to foster empathy, but it also represents a gateway to building relationships. 'Those people' found in textbooks and news reports become 'the person I know.' This shows the incomplete nature of stereotypes and encourages participants to consider global perspectives. In addition to fostering relationships, participants examine the resources they use in creating the objects they exchange. Working with natural dyes made from school lunches, organic cotton and fabric scraps from local designers, participants can examine the full lifecycle of the things they use everyday. Different ways that resources are used in each location add to what participants can learn from one another.
We've run the exchange as a standalone project at the Greene Hill School and the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY. In addition, the exchange project has served as the launching pad for the larger Collectofus program at Sidwell Friends and CentroNía in Washington, DC, Walnut Hills in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Nataki Talibah School House in Detroit, Michigan and the St. Thomas International School in Accra, Ghana.
Interested in connecting your students with students across borders? For this and other information, feel free to contact us via email@example.com.
The AFUTU Project is an entrepreneurial experience through which students redefine the value of their old t-shirts by transforming them into new marketable products with an educational message. Students source the materials, design the object, calculate the cost, determine the price, write a value statement, market and sell their repurposed products to raise awareness and funds for issues of their choosing.
Students at Cranbrook and the Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse in Detroit, along with CentroNía and Sidwell Friends in Washington, DC have taken part in the project. These students contributed hundreds of shirts that were then sewn into one-of-a-kind backpacks by a team of seamstresses in Ghana. At Boston University we held a friendly competition in which participants used their t-shirts as a canvas to respond to the question "what world do you intend for our children?" Ivi, the person whose response received the most views via Facebook and Twitter, won the chance to design, price, market and sell a collection of backpacks made in Ghana from her t-shirt and the t-shirts of her peers.
While what we choose to wear speaks to who we are as individuals, it also connects us to a vast global narrative. Inspired by the Afutu Language of Ghana, The AFUTU Project challenges students to consider how they can preserve the personal meaning of their t-shirts, while simultaneously beginning a conversation of mutual interest.
For more information visit http://afutu.com.
Minimakers is a week long project in which students are asked to consider the role of beauty in forming a healthy society and are challenged to transform and connect three large-scale problems into design opportunities at a local level: hunger in America, waste and devaluation of the process and people in the fashion industry, and the environmental impact of synthetic dyes. With the goal of designing an outfit that never becomes waste, students take on the responsibility, as designers, to act on the opportunities they identify and to communicate the value of what they create.
The website minimakers.org shows how middle school students in Washington, DC reached the goal of fashioning sustainability in unique mini-collections. The students began by finding inspiration for their designs outside of fashion. Students discussed nature, they viewed photographs from around the world, they considering their feelings, their favorite colors and their role models. Students practiced using the natural dyes that they would use in their designs. Each dye was made with scraps from their own school lunches and from Martha’s Table, a cornerstone community center in DC. Students also prepared their own dyes and learned various fabric manipulation techniques.
Then, in groups of four or five, the students began to transform a selection of garments from Martha’s Outfitters, the second hand clothing store run by Martha’s Table. None of the original pieces were made in the US. All of these garments were white and had small stains. They had each been donated for resale at a low price -- a handful of pieces among the millions upon millions donated or discarded every year totaling upwards of 2.8 billion pounds of clothing in the US alone. By the end of the week, the students turned these garments into invaluable designs.
Liz Ricketts: Co-Founder & Director
J. Branson Skinner: Co-Founder & Producer
Joshua Odamtten: Ghana Programs Manager & Founding Member
volunteers - present & past
Jessica Adele Kane
Joseph Merlo III
Kimberly Clarkson, MA - Education
Victoria Sterkin, PHD - Behavior Analysis