The Civil Disobedience Project of the American Studies Program at Seattle Academy aims to teach
students about the nature of injustice and how to create effective real-world remedies for injustice.
Each team of 6-7 eleventh grade students is given a scenario of injustice from which to craft an
actionable response that is legally sound and operationally feasible in all its details. They must interpret,
explain, and defend their response through an action plan, which also demonstrates their ability to
negotiate with the parties and to commit an act of civil disobedience if necessary. Back-up plans are
required in order to respond to unintended consequences or failure to account for possible outcomes.
The project culminates in a presentation in which each team explains and defends its plan on live
television before a public global audience (YouTube). The teachers critique the plan live and the virtual
audience may use live chat to comment or submit questions. In this way students demonstrate their
understanding of the scenario – its social, moral and constitutional issues and concerns –and respond
“in the moment” to concerns of the teachers and the virtual audience.