Civil Rights 50 Lesson Plans


The ‘Civil Rights at 50’ campaign led by the Equal Justice Society is promoting lesson plans originally based on Wherever There’s a Fight, the award-winning Heyday book by Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi about the struggle to develop and protect rights in California.

The lesson plans, created by Jennifer Rader and Jah-Yee Woo, are available for educators who would like to teach civil rights in their high school and middle school classrooms.

The six lesson plans for high school and middle school classrooms were originally published separately on the Wherever There’s a Fight website,, and are combined into one document for this special edition.

Download the lesson plans packet as a PDF

‘Civil Rights at 50’ observes the 50th anniversaries of four of our nation’s civil rights tipping points: the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington (Aug. 28, 2013); the 50th anniversary of President Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (July 2, 2014); the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (Aug. 10, 2015); and the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (Oct. 3, 2015).

The Equal Justice Society kicked off the campaign on August 28, 2013, at a gala, “Everyday People: The Heroes and Heroines Who Powered the Civil Rights Movement,” at the Oakland Museum of California. The Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, and Zaccho Dance Theatre collaborated for the first time to produce a theatrical event that emphasized the contribution and voices of individuals who greatly contributed to the success of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and the larger Civil Rights Movement.

This contribution by everyday people was made through their words and ideas, dedication and hard work, and in some cases by sacrificing their lives. We should never forget that the struggle for equality in the 1960s was a war in many ways as important as the conflict abroad at that time.

Download the lesson plans packet as a PDF