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LEGACY 2024: Senator Wanda Thomas Bernhard

Grade Groups 3-6:

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Understanding Diversity:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard is recognized for addressing racial and cultural diversity in social work education. Why is it important for us to learn about different cultures and backgrounds? How can understanding diversity help create a more inclusive community at school?
  2. Local Heroes:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard has shared her expertise with local, provincial, and national organizations. Do you have someone in your community whom you consider a hero? How can people like Wanda positively impact the places where they live?
  3. Empowering Communities:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard empowers communities to combat racism. How do you think individuals, even at a young age, can contribute to making their communities more welcoming and accepting? Can you think of any examples from your own experiences?
  4. Creative Expression for Understanding:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard is an educator, scholar, and practitioner. If you were to express what you've learned about diversity and combating racism through art (drawings, paintings, or poems), how would you do it? How can creative expression help convey important messages?
  5. Compassionate Leadership:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard is described as a model of tolerance, understanding, and compassion. In what ways can you show tolerance and compassion towards your classmates, friends, or family members? How can these qualities positively impact relationships and your school community?

Project Suggestions:

  1. Diversity Collage:

    • Objective: Create a collage that celebrates diversity in your school or community. Use images, drawings, or words to showcase the various cultures and backgrounds that make your community unique.
    • Tools: Collage materials (scissors, glue, magazines), drawing tools.
  2. Local Hero Profile:

    • Objective: Develop a profile of a local hero in your community. This could be someone who, like Wanda Thomas Bernard, contributes positively to social development. Present the profile through a poster or short presentation.
    • Tools: Poster-making materials, presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint).
  3. Community Empowerment Pledge:

    • Objective: Create a class or schoolwide pledge that focuses on empowering the community to combat racism and promote inclusivity. Each student can contribute their ideas on how to make this pledge impactful.
    • Tools: Paper, markers, collaborative discussion.
  4. Expressive Arts Showcase:

    • Objective: Organize an expressive arts showcase where students can present drawings, paintings, or poems that convey their understanding of diversity and combating racism. Encourage students to explain the inspiration behind their creations.
    • Tools: Art supplies, presentation space.
  5. Compassion Journals:

    • Objective: Start compassion journals where students can record acts of tolerance and understanding they observe or participate in. Discuss these observations regularly to reinforce the importance of compassion in everyday life.
    • Tools: Journals, writing tools.

Grade Groups 7-12:

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. Social Work Impact:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard has made significant contributions to social work education. How do you think addressing racial and cultural diversity in this field can have a lasting impact on individuals and communities? Can you identify similar challenges in other professions?
  2. Leadership in Combating Racism:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard has courageously empowered communities to combat racism. In what ways can individuals, including students, demonstrate leadership in addressing systemic issues like racism? How might students contribute to promoting equity within their school environment?
  3. Role of Associations:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard is a founding member of the Association of Black Social Workers. How do you think professional associations play a role in advocating for diversity and inclusivity within specific fields? Can you think of other associations that have influenced positive change?
  4. Intersectionality in Social Development:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard is an advocate for family and social development. How does considering factors like race, culture, and socio-economic status (intersectionality) enhance our understanding of social development challenges? Can you identify ways to address these challenges?
  5. Educational Advocacy:

    • Wanda Thomas Bernard is highly regarded for her work in social work education. How can students advocate for changes in their own educational environments to promote diversity, understanding, and inclusion? What role can students play in shaping educational policies?

Project Suggestions:

  1. Social Work Documentary:

    • Objective: Create a documentary that explores the impact of social work on addressing racial and cultural diversity. Highlight the contributions of professionals like Wanda Thomas Bernard and the importance of diversity in the field.
    • Tools: Video recording equipment, video editing software.
  2. Student-Led Diversity Workshop:

    • Objective: Organize a student-led workshop on diversity and combating racism within your school. Encourage students to research and present strategies that promote inclusivity, understanding, and tolerance.

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