The Karson Institute (KI) is currently partnering with the City Neighbors High School (CNHS) in Baltimore City, through the KI’s Center for Teaching and Learning, leading a nine-month Backpack Journalism program called “The Ida B. Wells Civic and Journalism Mini-Institute” (IBWCJ). This is a hands-on program to teach high school students about civic responsibility and backpack journalism, specifically how to write and tell stories about their own Baltimore City communities instead of others speaking for them.
The Backpack Journalism program is designed to shift the narrative to give students the power, tools, and training to tell their own stories- of their neighbors, communities, and themselves. Since collecting and reporting news tools have been democratized, we are putting the tools of the trade into the hands of students and empowering them to be a voice in their own communities.
The students have also made viewable transcripts to go along with their interviews.
Ida B. Wells Civic and Journalism Mini Institute
Assignment #1: Family Interviews
Find someone in your family (over the age of 30) to interview. Ask the following questions, audio record the entire interview, and then transcribe their answers:
- Name and age
- Why do you think Baltimore is called “Smalltimore”?
- Share your favorite story about Baltimore.
- What do you think about the state of race in America?
- If you could change one thing about Baltimore, what would it be?
- What is the one thing that you wish you had known when you were my age?
Speak Out Question: What do you think can be done to save Baltimore?
Assignment # 2: Student Speak Out
Students are to create a short recording of themselves answering the question, " What do you think can be done to save Baltimore?"
Speak out Question: What am I concerned about in Baltimore?
Speak Out Question: Why is it Important to Teach Black History?
After class discussion on Black History, students recorded themselves answering why they think it is important for schools to teach Black History.
Students Favorite Places
Assignment #3: Students Favorite Places
Students are to record themselves at three different locations that have meaning to them and explain the location and its meaning.
Reginald F. Lewis Museum Field Trip Part 1
Reginald F. Lewis Museum Field Trip Part 2
While on the field trip, students were asked:
1. What does Black History Month mean to you?
2. What does Black joy mean to you?
Black History Month Talk Back
Students are to create a short recording of themselves answering the question, "Why is Black history American history?"
Lack of Sports
Students reflect and talk about the lack of sports in their school