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This beautifully illustrated book introduces students to Viola Desmond, an African Canadian businesswoman who challenged racial segregation in Nova Scotia. Viola was arrested when she refused to move out of the whites-only section of the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow. Upon her release she began a courageous fight against prejudice and inequality. This story about an ordinary citizen defying racism is incredibly inspiring as it teaches students that any individual can help end social injustice in their community.
This book complements units that explore the meaning of citizenship and human rights. After reading the book students could develop their own charts of fundamental human rights. Older students could further research Viola Desmond and other Canadian civil liberties advocates and prepare a school awareness campaign that informs others about these leaders of social reform. Students could also compare the events of this book to a form of segregation in their own lives- bullying. The class could follow the lead of Viola by taking a stand against bullying with activities such as developing a peer buddy system or establishing a school diversity club.
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