Geography Education
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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Muslim Woman Discovers Friendly New World When a Winter Scarf Covers Her Hijab

Muslim Woman Discovers Friendly New World When a Winter Scarf Covers Her Hijab | Geography Education |
Chicago's bitter cold temps led to an impromptu social experiment when Leena Suleiman bundled up in a knit scarf and cap.
Tracey M Benson's curator insight, February 24, 3:25 PM

Interesting article about a social experiment...

Linda Alexander's curator insight, February 24, 3:55 PM

A really interesting social experiment that took place in Chicago!

Joy Kinley's curator insight, February 26, 1:11 PM

One slight difference in dress - hijab or cap - and a world of difference in how she is treated.  What makes us "be" part of a group?  A hijab clearly marks a woman is Muslim and for some people that is scary, while others welcome you.

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Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs

Muslims masquerade as Hindus for India jobs | Geography Education |
Facing religious discrimination in the Hindu-dominated job market, many are forced to assume fake identities.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not that uncommon in India unfortunately.  As the articles states, a government commission was appointed in 2005 to investigate the degree to which Muslims were disadvantaged in social, economic and educational terms.  The commission concluded the socio-economic condition of most Muslims was as bad as that of the Dalits, who are at the bottom rung of the Hindu-caste hierarchy, also referred to as the "untouchables." 

Tags: labor, industry, economic, poverty, India.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 11, 2013 1:02 AM

Hiding their idenity to get a job or to even live.  Much like many Jewish people did to survive in Hitler's Germany.  They pretened to be Catholic, Protestant anything but Jewish.  They did what they had to do to survive. The same is gong on in India, not on the scale of genocide, concentration camps, forced labor, etc., but it still is a form of opperession of a minority group in the largest "democracy" in the world.  It dates back to the partitiion of India after British rule.  Many Muslims were forced to migrated to what was then either West or East Pakistan, which is now Bangledesh.  Not all left.  There are about 127,000,000 Muslims in Indian manking it the second largest population of Muslims behind Indonesia, that is a sizeable minority even in a country of over 1 billion.  The nation overall would benefit from equality in the job maket in that there probably many skilled workers in a basically untouched labor pool.  The US has regulations against hiring practices based on one's religious belief, as well as age, gender, race etc., it is something that India might take an example from.  I know the US isn't perfect on its labor relations in the past, but we have been doing a good job as of late...though there are still lingering issues that will be solved giving time.  I tink its time for India to start becasue it will take a long time for things to change when they at least started.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 9:03 AM

This article point out the disadvantage Muslims face in India, especially in the lower rung of the economy, in order to gain employment they have to hide their faith and pretend to be something they are not Hindus.  The article also points out that a rise of nationalist groups has further marginalized the Indian Muslims.  This is a sad state of affairs as these people are kept in low status jobs because if they were to show their papers to get a better job they would be turned away.  Discrimination is a human problem that all countries struggle with.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 12:02 AM

This article is about Muslims in India masquerading as Hindu to get jobs. This is a little surprising considering how tolerant Hinduism is of other religions, but this is not so much a religious issue as much as it is a political issue. There is still a Hindu nationalist sentiment among many Indians dating back to the partition which is a part of why this religious discrimination exists.

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Portland: A Tale of Two Cities

Portland: A Tale of Two Cities | Geography Education |

"Portland is a city that some residents praise as a kind of eden: full of bike paths, independently-owned small businesses, great public transportation and abundant microbreweries and coffeeshops. And then there’s a whole other city. It’s the city where whole stretches of busy road are missing sidewalks, and you can see folks in wheelchairs rolling themselves down the street right next to traffic. It’s the city where some longtime African-American residents feel as if decades of institutional racism still have not been fully addressed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Portland, Oregon is often discussed as a magnet for a young demographic that wants to be part of a sustainable city that supports local businesses and agriculture.  This podcast looks behind that image (which has a measure of truth to it) to see another story.  Relining, gentrification, poverty, governance and urban planning are all prominent topics in this 50 minute podcast that provides as fascinating glimpse into the poorer neighborhoods of this intriguing West Coast city.  When in cities, we often use the term sustainability to refer to the urban ecology, but here we see a strong concern for the social sustainability of their historic neighborhoods as well. 

Tags: neighborhood, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economic, racepovertyplace, socioeconomic.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, November 19, 2013 1:21 PM

Recently I came across a craigslist post from a gentleman who was trying to rally individuals to Portland with him for a journey on the "Michigan Trail" to Detroit. He made promise that the intention was to perform rejuvinating work in  Detroit alongside it's current residents and that there would be "no gentrification." 

Not that I found these statements or intentions to be profound or useful in anyway, but this podcast really put a nail in the coffin for me. The effects of gentrification are well known for both their positive and negative aspects. But the bottom line is this, regardless of intention the poor and diverse populations will be displaced unless it is from them that this renaissance takes place. Not Portlandia hipsters looking for some sort of "promise land."  

Portland apparentely has it's own issues with gentrification and a class of social and cultural norms that make it difficult to make the case for cities on the rise to take the same path.  

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 6:12 PM

I don't think that Earth offers everything for everyone.  Given the situation of predetermination about birthplace and essentially upbringing, social class, and outcomes, in an infinite universe (infinite until proven otherwise), a single small planet cannot possibly offer us everything we are destined to need in the universe, let alone the towns that we are limited to.  I do not believe in choice, I believe in destiny... I do not blame people for racism or crimes, as HORRIBLE as they may be. I think that people are made into what they are by the world around them, in existential and defining ways.  Yeah, there is plenty of room for improvement and change in Oregon, but realistically, there is also more room for improvement in other areas too.  I don't really see humans as the sort of people that will ever get better without some sort of divine intervention.  I am taking the perspective of separation of paradise and purgatory that was mentioned in this article, and applying it to a different scale, but I do believe that mankind is to be condemned by the universe, due to its faults and inability to play well with others.  The world freaks out when kidnapping victims are found after a decade of abuse and captivity, but this same world breeds animals for slaughter and consumption... Earthlings clearly have been taught to not care about those that are different, whether in looks or species... I think the kidnapping situation is vile and appalling, but I also think that breeding species for slaughter (which affects more living beings) is democratically more of an issue.

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Teaching about Racism in Japan

Is there racism and discrimination in Japan? I was surprised to find out that almost all of my high school students (about 1000 students) were not aware of t...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This YouTube video has caused a tremendous amount of controversy in Japan, where most see discrimination as a problem in other societies.  For some more context on the controversy, read this great Washington Post article on the subject.    

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 5:33 PM

This video is very interesting because normally we thinks the, racism only happens in America. People based this opinion because United States is form by different races, and culture also because of its history. While I was watching this video. I thought when I was living in Dominican Republic, how we Dominican behave towards Haitian people living in the island. We discriminate them because of their skin color and their believes. People are more aware of racism in the United States because America gets more attention from the outside media then other countries

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 11:50 AM

The video was made by an American who taught English in Japan. He explains there exists racism and discrimination in Japan. The Japanese tend to consider these as American problems, not ones which exist across the entire globe, including Japan. A sense of national pride and a fairly homogenous population mask any overt sense of discrimination which is why the teacher was targeted by nationalist Japanese who would rather deny the existence of the problems than acknowledge them.

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Tanzania's Albinos Face Constant Threat Of Attack

For many albinos — born with a partial or total lack of pigment in their skin, hair and eyes — life is difficult, and that is particularly true in Tanzania, where they are attacked for their flesh, the result of superstitious beliefs.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not a typical look at the cultural roots of prejudice and discrimination.  It isn't racism per se (since albinism isn't a racial category strictly speaking), but it does show prejudice that is linked to physical appearance and skin color.  There are deeply rooted folk traditions that endanger the lives of African albinos as explained in this podcast.  This photo gallery shows some of Tanzania's albinos letting their light shine.   


Tags: culture, racism, folk culture, Tanzania, Africa.

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Ghosts Of Rwanda

This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death.  To learn more about the documentary, see:

Matt Mallinson's comment, October 31, 2012 12:30 PM
In this situation I look at America and I can't help but ask "Why didn't you help?" These people were getting killed for no good reason, and we as a nation knew this and did nothing. I'm ashamed that we didn't aid them, my heart goes out for the Rwandan people.
Nick Flanagan's curator insight, December 12, 2012 8:08 PM

while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle.  The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area.  It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem. 

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Congressman Bobby Rush Kicked Off House Floor For Wearing Hoodie Illinois' Rep. Bobby Rush (D) was removed from the House floor Wednesday morning after donning the hood of his sweater — an...


The 'rules' about clothing, place and social context are culturally and politically institutionalized. Where can you wear what clothes, and when does that change? Should it change? The clothes literally made this particular speech, since it was about the criminalization of cultural clothing norms within racial and economic groups. Should he have been thrown off the floor? What would you have done?

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 5:46 PM

“Life is more than a piece of clothing” Bubby Rush.


I do understand why congressman did what he did, but I don’t agree with him because he as a congressman, need to set an example to our youth. The house as other institution have rules that should be respect it, there are different way for you to protest if you don’t agree with certain issue. Imagine if show up to my job naked, I would be fired right way. Like my mother has always say “there is a place and time”

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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum | Geography Education |

I attended an outstanding workshop on Holocaust Education sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was introduced to these excellent teaching materials that they have online. The Holocaust can be taught with a goal of making connections with present day prejudice, persecution and crimes of hate that mar this world. Collectively, the geographic legacies of genocide are long-lasting, and must be remembered.  For some local sources for the Holocaust Education and Resource Center in Rhode Island, see:

James Scheid's curator insight, November 27, 2013 1:09 PM

I would recommend this text for use in other teachers' classrooms as well as my mine because it has allot of information regarding the Holocaust.  I would use it and recommend other teachers use it to provide students access to a large amount of primary sources in the from of artifacts and survivor accounts.  There also are other texts such as videos to facilitate student learning. 

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Segregation Hits Historic Low

Segregation Hits Historic Low | Geography Education |
An exodus of African-Americans from struggling industrial cities such as Detroit and the growth of Sunbelt states have pushed racial segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas to its lowest level in a century, according to a new study.


Fifty years ago, nearly half the black population lived in a ghetto, the study said, while today that proportion has shrunk to 20%. All-white neighborhoods in U.S. cities are effectively extinct, according to the report.  While the urban geography of North America is not post-racial, many of the glaringly institutionalized problems (e.g.-redlining) have lessened.  

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Reports Of The End Of Segregation Greatly Exaggerated

Reports Of The End Of Segregation Greatly Exaggerated | Geography Education |

"The Manhattan Institute just released a new study by economists Ed Glaeser and Jacob Vigdor called 'The End of the Segregated Century.' It cheerfully notes that segregation is at its lowest level since 1910 and that all-white neighborhoods 'are virtually extinct.'


Their report seems accurate enough in describing the changes and is consistent, in many respects, with other research. Yet, in focusing exclusively on change, the report fails to convey that segregation is still quite high throughout much of America. Moreover, the summary and discussion are misleading in their insinuation that “the end of segregation” has failed as a 'driving force' behind increasing socio-economic equality between races."


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Jay Leno Wrong About West Virginia - Again

Jay Leno Wrong About West Virginia - Again | Geography Education |
For one magnificent moment after the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4, West Virginia University and the entire state of West Virginia were the talk of Americ.


What's the problem with geographic jokes about places such as West Virginia?  We've all heard them, and I've heard plenty of them from West Virginians; so why did West Virginians have such a visceral reaction to Jay Leno's jab after the 70-33 Orange bowl victory when he joked that "They don't score that high on their SATs."  This is an interested article about geographical stereotypes, their perpetuation and appropriateness. 

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Top Ten Civil Rights Songs

Top Ten Civil Rights Songs | Geography Education |
The civil rights movement has resonated deeply with generations of musicians. .


This link connects you to 10 YouTube clips of important songs that were inspirational in the shaping of the Civil Rights movement.  This is a poignant way to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day this coming Monday, but it is also a great archive for potential teaching resources...lessons that use music can have a profound impact.   

Shelby Redman's curator insight, December 2, 2013 2:55 PM

Music tells our stories and shows a lot about the time in which it was made. This would be amazing to incorporate into the classroom. Teachers could break students up into groups and have them work on individual songs and pull historical inferences from them. Then you could bring the class back together to discuss.  There a lot of great visuals included in these videos. 

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Teaching Race and Poverty in the wake of "If I Was A Poor Black Kid"

Teaching Race and Poverty in the wake of "If I Was A Poor Black Kid" | Geography Education |

Let me explain: this particular article has created a firestorm of controversy online.  All of the debated points center on how we think about race and  poverty in the USA.  I'm most certainly not endorsing this article as a 'stand-alone' source of information, but rather a jumping off point to discuss some difficult questions that, fundamentally are geographic in nature.   This is a difficult subject, so sometimes we feel more comfortable just ignoring the topic...I feel that is a disservice to our students.   


Personally, what I want my students to understand and get out of this is two-fold: the advice that Gene Marks makes to individuals to pursue educational opportunities to improve their situation is excellent and sound.  The problem lies in that this individual advice is being proposed as a societal remedy for larger, structural problems.  In essence it is a problem of scale.  What is good advice for the individual with not cure all the ails of systemic problems that go far beyond needs education.  What do you want your students to get out of this debate/discussion?     

Some sample rebuttal articles:

And a snippet of a more scholarly piece "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria:"

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:36 AM

Gene Marks probably should have chosen a different topic to write about, or at least one that could be deemed less offensive.  He does have sound advice for those "poor black kids," but only those living in a perfect world can follow his advice fully.  It's easy to say you are going to be the most perfect student you can be, but if you live in an environment where parental supervision is low, a goal such as that is harder to achieve.  Parents in these areas do not stress it enough that being a top notch student is a necessity.  This is not a one dimensional issue. 

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Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

Why We Celebrate Martin Luther King Day | Geography Education |

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated,"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live." Arrested over twenty times, stabbed in the chest, his house firebombed and, ultimately shot and killed, King embodied the idea that equality and the African American Civil Rights Movement were worth dying for.He was a husband and father to four children as persecution and death threats filled his days, yet his example was one of nonviolent, civil disobedience.Had he not been assassinated, King would have celebrated his 85th birthday on January 15th."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Dr. Martin Luther King fought racial segregation (which, if you think about it, is a geographic system of oppression that uses space and place to control populations).  Dr. King has been described as a critical geographer for some of his insights.  In 1967, MLK stated, "The expansion of suburbia and migration from the South has worsened big-city segregation.  The suburbs are a white noose around the black necks of cities… suburbs expand with little regard for what happens to the rest of America.”  If you are a Maps 101 subscriber, please read the rest of this article that I co-authored with Julie Dixon.  You can also sign up for a free trial subscription or listen to the article as a free podcast on Stitcher Radio.  

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, January 28, 12:55 PM

This map shows the desegregation movement and the way that important events happened in the effort to better the African American people. It shows a series of events that took place in the South;(Memphais MLK Assassinated on April 4th, 1968, Atlanta MLK born Jan. 15th,1929, Montgomery Bus Boycott 1955-1956) and it shows his famous "I have a dream" speech on Aug.28th,1963. 

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, January 29, 11:16 PM

Martin Luther King Jr. is an iconic figure in American history. A man that will be remembered forever, as he overcame so much adversity and risked his life on a daily basis for the greater good of America. After being arrested multiple times, injured and threatened, most people would have given up, but not him. He is one who never gave up on his dreams and proves that anything is possible.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, April 16, 1:27 PM

We celebrate Martin Luther King JR because he was a man of pride. In history, those who are remembered did something great most likely. He was an activist for the Civil Rights movement and had a dream that one day the world would treat everyone as equals. He was assassinated and unfortunately that is another reason we celebrate and honor his life.

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Fair Housing

Fair Housing | Geography Education |
Where you live is important. It can dictate quality of schools and hospitals, as well as things like cancer rates, unemployment, or whether the city repairs roads in your neighborhood. On this week's show, stories about destiny by address.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This hour-long podcast addresses some has key issues in urban geography by exploring the history of redlining, the Fair Housing Act and other fair housing initiatives.  The urban cultural mosaic of the United States and the neighborhoods of our cities have been greatly shaped by these issues.   Currently gentrification is reshaping many U.S. cities and fits into the wider scope of the issues raised in the podcast.

Tags: housingracism, urban, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhood, ethnicity, race, podcast.

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, December 1, 2013 3:54 AM

this podcast can gives us insight into other peoples experiences and decision making processes in choosing were to live and how that effects life for them. Depending on where we live rent may be cheaper but also living conditions and employment may not be all that great. Gentrification or community improvement also shows us, this renovating process helps change our old neighborhoods and tries to create better places for people to life, it speaks about fair housing and the various experiences that people have in the American way of living.

Mrs. B's curator insight, December 3, 2013 8:44 PM


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Ethnic/Population Density Map

Ethnic/Population Density Map | Geography Education |

"Drawing on data from the 2010 U.S. Census, the map shows one dot per person, color-coded by race. That's 308,745,538 dots in all."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly gorgeous interactive map of population density in the United States.  It is very reminiscent of this North American Map with two major differences.  On the down side, Mexican and Canadian data are not displayed but on the bright side, the added color component is used to show ethnic categories as defined by the 2010 U.S. census.  Please explore this map at a variety of scales and in distinct locales.   

Questions to Ponder: Is this a map of ethnic diversity patterns or is it a map of racial segregation?  How come?  Is there additional information that you would need to decide?  This review of the map on Wired and Atlantic Cities described this map as a map depicting segregation: why would they say that? 

Tags: cartography, mapping, visualization, population, density, ethnicity, race.

Scott Langston's curator insight, September 4, 2013 8:11 PM

Population Density interactive

Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, September 4, 2013 8:58 PM

This describes challenges to human migration because it shows certain areas that people have moved to opposed to areas that have less population because of climate, area, etc...

ethanrobert's comment, September 16, 2013 4:24 PM
Robert wrote this comment btw.
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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography Education |
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an old article, but a fascinating topic that cuts across many geographic issues.  Uluru, the landform that that European explorers named Ayers Rock, was the key place that is at the center of a struggle between indigenous people and the government.  Many feel that the government's course of action in the mid 2000's was paternalistic and racist.  They banned alcohol and pornography in over 70 indigenous communities in an attempt to lower the rates of child sex abuse.  Sex Abuse is high (and often hidden)  in aboriginal communities where a child is 7 times more likely to be abused than in the rest of the Australian population.

Questions to Ponder: Would the government impose such measures on other populations within Australia?  When crimes have a racial component, does a government have the right to limit a particular groups' actions?  Why or why not?


Tags: Australia, indigenous, ethnicity, race, Oceania.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:50 PM

This is a very strange article. After police and troops were sent into more than 70 indigenous communities after a report of wide spread child abuse tribal leaders threatened to ban tourists from being allowed to climb Uluru. TO me this sounds like they are trying to hid what is really going on in their communities. 

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 10, 2013 3:24 PM

This is an interesting BBC news source and even though it is from 2008, it is still important to the topic of initiating government policies, especially those that may have a racial component.  Aborigines threatened to shut  down access to the Australian landmark, Uluru (previously named Ayer's Rock by European explorers).  Australian government leaders imposed laws banning alcohol and pornography from Aborigines in hopes to lower the incidents of child abuse.  While child abuse is a more prevalent issue among indigenous groups rather than those who are not Aborigines, I do not think it is fair to impose particular bans against certain groups.  Child abuse is most likely an issue among Australians other than Aborigines, but just because it might be more prevalent among Aborigines, it is not a reason to punish one group of people and not all.

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Un-Fair Campaign

Un-Fair Campaign | Geography Education |

The University of Wisconsin-Superior is in one of the least ethnically diverse regions of the United States and the university is partnering with other local organizations across that region aimed at highlighting structural advantages within society for Caucasians.  This campaign to make 'white privilege' visible has not surprisingly generated controversy and has made race and its impact of society an issue quite visible, to the discomfort of many.   The author of the book, "Colorblind," speaks about this issue on PBS as he argues that the United States is not in a post-racial society

Questions to Ponder:  In what tangible ways can you see 'white privilege' in our society?  Is this ad campaign a good idea?  What does the term normativity mean and how does it relate to this topic? 

Tags: race, racism, culture, unit 3 culture, book review and ethnicity.

Nic Hardisty's comment, September 4, 2012 11:53 AM
I think that campaigns like this are extremely important in areas like Duluth (where the populations is 90% white). Per the website, 80% of white high school students graduate, as opposed to 25% of African-American students. This speaks to the massive obstacles that minorities face in trying to achieve social/economic/educational success. This campaign helps a population (with a relatively small voice in their region) convey the reality of their daily lives to the dominant, privileged population that surrounds them.
Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 4, 2012 11:56 AM
I believe this campaign is being made aware in the Wisconsin area of the U.S. because the population is primarily white. Therefore, this region may be trying to make its people aware of the fact that racism can still exist even though this region may be ignorant to this issue. And this region is not to blame for its ignorance because a vast, non-diverse racial community is all they are exposed to, and all they know.
Seth Dixon's comment, September 4, 2012 9:29 PM
I think some people feel that pointing out institutionalized bias feels as though the campaign is blaming them for simply being white. I had a special blue ticket to go to the front of the DMV line today and I was thrilled but it made me think about the others still waiting. There's an analogy in there but I don't want to force it.
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Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided

Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still Divided | Geography Education |
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.


Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.  This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing. 

Derek Ethier's comment, October 11, 2012 1:59 AM
It's unbelievable that ethnic crimes continue to be committed in the world today, even after the atrocities performed by Hitler. When Yugoslavia collapsed, the power vacuum left behind caused hundreds of thousands to lose their lives. In Africa even in the present day, these kinds of things continue. It makes you wonder what kind of a world we are really living in.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 3:54 PM

These stories are never pleasant.  It seems Europe after World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union were left in a strange middle ground.  With so many cultures, religions, languages all on one continent, its not hard to believe that Europe has been the stage of so much conflict all throughout history.  People are and always have been intermingling between countries.  Many of the countries in Europe are easy to travel throughout, such as a car or bus ride which may only take a few hours in some cases.  This gives easy access for immigration in which history shows that people try to flock to opportunity or to where there are people similar to them.  These patterns can sometimes be unwelcoming to current citizens and lead to violence and cleansing in extreme cases, all because of disagreements based on beliefs and traditions.

After all the wars fought, looking at Europe as a whole is tricky.  Though the countries all have political boundaries and jurisdictions, the lifestyle and what goes on within the borders can be very segregated.  Even in the 21st century, the divisions of people in the same country, holding the same citizenship, shows that things aren't always as good as they seem.

Devon marzo's curator insight, February 6, 12:37 PM

This article show political because the population is protesting against the government 

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We Need to Talk About an Injustice

TED Talks In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial...


The Trayvon Martin shooting has been a very polarizing social issue; many athletes, actors and even politicians have donned hoodies in solidarity to speak out against racial and social injustice.  This is a good opportunity to discuss race in the classroom, beyond the Trayvon Martin incident.  I find this particular TED Talk heartwarming (and fairly non-controversial although he hintsstrongly that he is against the death penalty), while still casting the light on injustices in the United States, specifically looking at the racial differences within the criminal justice system.      

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Redlining in 1936 Philadelphia

Redlining in 1936 Philadelphia | Geography Education |

 These are great images that shows the can build historical and geographical empathy for those that were discriminated against during the era of redlining.  These maps from the Home Owners' Loan Corporation mapped and shaped regions of urban disinvestment (but the maps were NOT widely circulated).  This example of redlining in 1936 Philadelphia, links you to primary source documents if you click on the map.  The documents are reports on the property values, resident demographics and descriptions of the residential zones.  For more on the Philadelphia redlining research project, visit:

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Using Music to teach about Rwanda

Using Music to teach about Rwanda | Geography Education |
When teaching about ethnic conflicts, especially the Rwandan Genocide, it easy to overlook the influence of music and it’s role in the genocide. The following website discusses the involvement of Simon Bikindi, and Bikindi’s music which was broadcasted on the anti-Tutsi/pro-genocide radio station “RTLM.” These Bikindi songs (along with his biography) can be compelling hook to serve as an introduction to ethnic conflicts.
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The Underground Railroad - National Geographic Education

The Underground Railroad - National Geographic Education | Geography Education |
You are a slave in Maryland in the 1800s. Can you escape? Learn what challenges slaves faced in National Geographic's Underground Railroad adventure. Get information, pictures, photographs, biographies, resources, and more.


This is a good interactive to explore the historical geographies of slavery and abolition.  Hopefully, AP HG readers will get to learn more about the Underground Railroad in Cincinnati, OH.   

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Daily Five: MLK Day And Geography

Daily Five: MLK Day And Geography | Geography Education |
Five Things To Know For Monday, Jan.16, 2012...
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Zwarte Piet: Holland’s Christmastime tradition racist?

Zwarte Piet: Holland’s Christmastime tradition racist? | Geography Education |

In the Netherlands, Santa doesn't have little elves; he has a helper (slave?) named Zwarte Piet, literally Black Pete.  He delights kids with cookies and a goofy persona.  Foreign visitors are startled by his resemblance to Little Black Sambo.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Is this a harmless cultural tradition or is it racist?   Why might some Dutch not see this as offensive?  Why might someone not from there react so strongly to this caricature? What do you think?  (Note: a Dutch friend of mine was quick respond: "Sinterklaas' helpers are black because of the ashes in the chimney."  I'm curious to know whether that was always the case or if it's a way to 'whitewash' an old tradition from a bygone era.  And yes, this is an annual controversy). 

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