The Liberation Curriculum is a collection of free and universally accessible lesson plans developed for students (of all ages) interested in exploring global, nonviolent struggles for freedom and equality. The Curriculum is inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of the World House. In his last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, published in 1967, King painted a picture of a world in which people of various ethnic, ideological, and religious backgrounds have to live together. They must learn to respect their differences and to act justly in order to ensure peaceful coexistence. Moreover, King also observed that humanity is interrelated and connected, “tied in a single garment of destiny,” and so “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
We, the authors of the Liberation Curriculum, believe that the purpose of education is to provide answers for how to best honor our differences, strengthen our connections, and live together in peace. Our mission is to design teaching materials that critically engage students with the past, and prepare them to challenge injustice and live together peacefully as global citizens.
We accomplish our mission by using primary and secondary documents to analyze the life and work of King and the achievements of civil rights activists. Through the study of King’s speeches and writings, students engage with the timeless ethical, philosophical, and spiritual ideals that influenced the civil rights and many other freedom movements.
In lesson plans focusing on “Diversity and Inclusion,” “The Power of Nonviolence,” and “Love and Faith,” fundamental moral principles take center stage in classroom discussion, highlighting the struggles, accomplishments, and courage of ordinary people. Historical protests, strikes, and marches were initiated and sustained by children, students, workers, and local grassroots activists. Stories of passengers who protested discrimination by refusing to board segregated buses become the focus of the lesson plan on the “Montgomery Bus Boycott.” Watching students challenge segregated schools, or participate in sit-ins at lunch counters to protest racism, inspires students to stand up for justice themselves.
Our approach to education goes beyond teaching historical knowledge and job-related skills. Empathy, connection to the past and present, and active civic engagement are crucial to a just and peaceful future. By connecting what may seem like singular human experiences to a larger narrative of struggles for justice, our educational goal is to equip students with the tools to build King’s “World House.”
Education is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. We are committed to offering our educational resources free of charge and easily accessible on our website. With this online curriculum built around exceptional primary sources, students will begin to see the world not just as a neighborhood but also as a brother- and sisterhood.