The Modjeska Simkins School for Human Rights was created to grow a grassroots network of new leaders by teaching them skills to build healthy communities and promote sound public policy in South Carolina.
The school is a project of the SC Progressive Network to further the pioneering work of human rights activist Modjeska Monteith Simkins. Since 2009, the Network has been housed in what once was Modjeska’s home in downtown Columbia. Among her many achievements, Modjeska helped pave legal ground for desegregating South Carolina’s schools. (Read more about her here.)
The Modjeska School is a civic engagement institute designed to help citizens of all ages learn how to promote democracy and justice in South Carolina. Participants are guided by Modjeska’s fighting spirit as they take on issues of economic and social injustice that keep our state at the bottom of too many quality-of-life rankings.
The school’s curriculum is designed to address real-life problems we face in communities across our state that have been analyzed by the Network’s Education Fund.
Students will learn:
- How poverty, poor education and scarce jobs relate to violence;
- Why the US has the developed world’s only for-profit health care system;
- How our state still operates on the Constitution of 1895, which weakened democracy to protect white supremacy;
- Why SC elections are the least competitive in the nation;
- Who benefits from our low taxes (lowest in the country) and business-friendly regulations;
- That by age 23 about 49% of black males have been arrested.
Students will explore the root causes of these problems and what we as a community can do to address them.
The initial work of the school will be training organizers to build an effective movement for social justice. As the school develops, trained organizers will lead classes in schools, churches and communities that range from introductory civics to direct action. The long-term aim of the school is to empower citizens so they can transform the power structure in South Carolina.
The Modjeska School is a project of the SC Progressive Network Education Fund. Donations to the school are tax-deductible.
The school is based in Modjeska’s historic home at 2025 Marion St. Columbia, SC. To learn more about the school and the Progressive Network visit www.scpronet.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 803-808-3384. Donations to support the school can be made at the web site, by check to PO Box 8325, Columbia SC 29202, or by credit card over the phone.
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