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Agency Through Inquiry: A Quest for Social Justice

Author: Ryann Rouse


Special Education

Year: 2018

Seminar: Philosophy, Science & Society

Grade Level: 11

Keywords: ecofeminism, ELA, English Language Arts, ethics, geomedicine, High School, philosophy, scientific justice, social justice, structural violence

School Subject(s): Arts, English, Science, Social Studies

This curriculum unit is designed for implementation in an upper high school classroom (Grades 11-12). The purpose of this unit is to educate students in the basics of philosophical thought. Engaging in critical thinking, critical discourse and sustained research and reflection will aid students in understanding the legacy of social injustice, particularly how science and scientific knowledge has been weaponized against marginalized people. Equipped with this historical knowledge, students will be empowered to act as agents of ethical social change as private citizens and responsible professionals.

Download Unit: 18.04.08.pdf

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Full Unit Text

According to Curbed Philadelphia’s Melissa Romero, who cites the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data released in 2016, Philadelphia remains the poorest large city in the country with just a little more than a quarter of its populace living in poverty. As a middle and high school educator who has worked in the City of Philadelphia for almost ten years, I have observed first-hand the limited sense of agency that many of my students feel personally as individuals and collectively as a result of their minority and socioeconomic status. In the years I have spent teaching and learning in the city of Philadelphia, all four of my teaching assignments in my career have been in various neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, a section of the city that is synonymous with ubiquitous poverty. It is this part of Philadelphia where my present school, George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science is located. It is this part of Philly that Ryanne Persinger, staff writer for The Philadelphia Tribune, cites in her article, Loosening Poverty’s Grip in North Philly Focus of Panel, “Even in a city where 31 percent of African Americans live in poverty, North Philadelphia is particularly poor. A Shared Prosperity report released in 2013 placed the concentration of poverty there at more than 50 percent.” With this level of extreme poverty comes many of poverty’s notorious accompaniments including but not limited to an increased prevalence of drug use and sale/distribution, violence, theft, single-parent households, higher rates of chronic and infectious diseases, etc. It is this single factor of poverty and the aforementioned attributes that make the students in North Philadelphia, the city of Philadelphia as well as cities with similar characteristics, susceptible to the past and present abuses of history at the hands of science.

The School District of Philadelphia operates a few hundred schools. These schools are divided into networks with similar characteristics and are led by an assistant superintendent. Philadelphia School Partnership states that George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science was founded in 1979 in partnership with Temple University. Carver specifically vies to attract students interested in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine according to the school’s website. The school aims to provide rigorous instruction for college-bound students in the city of Philadelphia. Our school offers more than 15 Advanced Placement courses. Carver Engineering and Science is a part of the autonomy network and is

populated through a special admissions process. The admissions standards are based on behavioral and academic criteria and are selected based on school records. In addition to its strong academic program, Carver also offers a robust extracurricular program including various academic clubs and competitive sports teams. As a result of Carver’s rich academic success for its student body, in 2015, the school was allowed to expand its academic program to include a middle school, comprised of seventh and eighth grade. Although this unit explores the intersection of society and science, this curriculum unit is designed to be taught in an ELA classroom or as a stand-alone humanities course at the high school level at George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science. This unit could also be adapted to serve seventh and eighth grade classrooms as well. Carver is a special admissions, criteria-based high school in North Philadelphia. According to the School District of Philadelphia’s website, the school’s total enrollment for the 2017-2018 academic year was 892 students, 64% of whom are deemed to be economically disadvantaged. Approximately 69% of the student body is comprised of African Americans, 9% of the student body is comprised of Latinos, 10% of the student body identifies as Asian, 7% of the students are identified as multi-racial/other, and 5% of the student body is white.

Science is often perceived as a benevolent institution and rarely are the motivations behind scientific research challenged or questioned. The study of science and its major developments often focus on the contributions of white men, yet rarely are the unethical abuses of the scientific community brought to the forefront. The Union of Concerned Scientists (2017) suggests, “This reality is the result of centuries of discriminatory policies, beginning with slavery and forced resettlement, and including unfair housing, education, and law enforcement practices—and science has not been an innocent bystander to these injustices.” What is also rarely addressed are the ways that marginality i.e. race, class and gender impact the ways in which scientific research abound. The School District of Philadelphia, as well as many urban districts throughout the United States, are largely comprised of historically marginalized and oppressed groups/demographics at various biological and socially constructed intersections such as sex, gender, race, economics, religious affiliation, etc. Often the means for perpetuating oppression is the result of overt and covert deficiencies in knowing the history and scope that discrimination and prejudice have had and continue to have on the oppressed. In this curriculum unit, students will explore the concept of scientific justice. Students will be able to use their knowledge of science to explore ways that intersectionality and various “isms” lend themselves to injustice as well as scientific breakthroughs. Armed with this knowledge of history, students will be able to act as change agents of social and scientific justice for marginalized communities. This particular curriculum unit is pertinent for a STEM-based school like Carver HSES where students are interested in pursuing careers in engineering, medicine, government, and various social sciences.

Through exercises based in reading, writing, listening and speaking, students will engage in exercises that involve identifying the history of race, class and gender-based oppression and how these historical influences inform present day circumstances. It is designed with the intention of getting students to think and write critically about injustice as well as challenge the philosophical underpinnings on which social norms and prescriptions are erected that perpetuate such injustices. Conversely, these same philosophical concepts are intended to be explored with the intention of dismantling the phenomenon of injustices that plague these groups. This

curriculum unit will examine the concepts of racial/social justice through scientific justice via sociological, anthropological, psychological lenses.

At present, the trend in the field of education is to design and implement instruction that connects to “real-world” skills and experiences. Sufficient assessments of student knowledge and learning are those that ask students to engage in performing tasks that demonstrate proficiency in solving problems that are akin to the initiatives and challenges that professionals work to address in the workforce. A general instructional practice that is gaining traction in recent pedagogy is project-based learning (PBL). The premise of this high impact instructional approach is for students that asks them to work on solving a complex real-world problem or answering a complex question. This curriculum unit would be grounded in the instructional practices inherent to the principles of PBL which include:

★ Key knowledge, understanding and success skills

★ Challenging problem or question

★ Sustained inquiry

★ Authenticity

★ Student voice and choice

★ Reflection

★ Critique and revision

★ Creating a public product

The necessity for knowledge of the historical disenfranchisement of African Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos, particularly the poor constituency of these identified groups by the science/medical establishment is necessary for the empowerment of future leaders in the medical profession, those who serve as medical practitioners but also for future citizens who will inevitably be impacted by medical practice and policy as patients and their loved ones. This knowledge of the specific needs of marginalized groups should inform policy and practice if we as global citizens are to ever truly achieve equality. Furthermore, one of the chief complaints I hear from my students is that the components of the core curriculum and most high school instructional programs bare little practical relevance to their lives. Students at the lower performing schools I have worked in and the higher performing students I have worked with at George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science have asked me the same honest and hard to answer question: “When are we going to learn something that is useful in their real lives?” While I can and have provided them with the cliched responses such as “this coursework is required by the state of Pennsylvania and the school district so you can earn a high school diploma” or “you will be expected to have learned this material if you plan to attend college” or “your more affluent, non-minority counterparts will learn this material and so should you,” admittedly these responses are not solid or believable responses even for me. As student engagement and investment in learning continue to be one of the greatest challenges that classroom teachers are tasked to address, authentic, critical thinking tasks are central to instructional design. These tasks must require learners think in more complex ways and not simply tap into lower level thinking skills that simply ask them to “identify” and “recall” information. This regurgitative learning is rampant in my school and has contributed to the widespread culture of unabashed cheating amongst the student body. One of the potential contributing factors to this “call and response” pedagogy is the widespread, ubiquitous practice

of administering standardized tests to measure student “knowledge.” The problem with this metric is that I have heard of students passing the standardized test in a particular subject area but not passing the course and vice versa. If one is truly indicative of the other, how can failure of either take place? With that being said, it is the responsibility of teachers to stop relying on self-serving methods of assessment that make things easier for them and design curricula that task students to “evaluate” and “create” practical products that are utilized in the professional world and engage students in civic thought and action.


My interest in participating in Philosophy, Science & Society stems from my desire to help students develop a sense of agency. Many school-age students are not specifically or intentionally engaged in philosophical thought/discourse. Often this engagement occurs organically but is undoubtedly philosophical in nature. My desire to create this unit is borne from the desire of my students to hear and understand the issues that have affected their ancestors and historical communities as well as the concerns that are directly affecting their lives and the lives of friends and loved ones at present. Critical thought around the ways that we are influenced by social thought and science is not always addressed in low-income communities of color. The dilemma that low-income and minority communities face is an understanding of the way science and scientific research and protocols are developed and executed are essential in the quest for racial, economic, gender and sexual equality. The purpose of this curriculum unit will be to educate students in the philosophical ideas and principles that allow the injustices investigated to transpire as well as in the philosophical principles that empower the oppressed to take a stand against current and future injustices. Additionally, this curriculum unit is designed to engage students in acts of civic engagement, to instill in them a sense of individual power as well as trigger the agency to advocate for their collective communities and intersectional standpoints.

In the pursuit of engaging in this philosophical treatise, students will be asked to consider the following:

Empiricism: What experiences shape our individual and group identity? How does history shape our present?

Julius Caesar is attributed with coining the famous proverb, “Experience is the teacher of all things.” Empiricism in philosophy states that the source of human knowledge can only be formed via experience, specifically sensory experience. It is linked to the idea that each person is born as a “tabula rasa” (clean slate). Empiricists dispel the notion of innate thoughts or knowledge. One of the foundational components of this curriculum unit is an exploration of historical injustices. In the readings selected for this unit, students will “see, hear, taste, touch and smell” the experiences of oppressed people.  It is the knowledge of these experiences that will act as guiding principles for the social justice initiatives that learners will design as summative assessments and public, authentic products.

Ethical Relativism: Is there ever a justification for oppression?

The theory of ethical relativism is grounded in the idea that morality and appropriate conduct/values are a direct reflection of the general mores or widely held beliefs of a particular era, place or culture. In this regard, certain injustices such as racial and gender-based oppression are simply reflections of a particular time period. For example, here in the United States of America, the era of African Enslavement was perpetrated on the belief in the inferiority of African people. These tenets of inferiority cultivated the notion that people of African descent were not human and as a result could be used for medical experimentation. These ideas of African/Black inferiority have persisted and have directly and indirectly influenced attitudes, policies and initiatives that affect minority communities. These overt and covert, subliminal messages of inferiority persist and are evident in conversations had with students who deem themselves  to be “not smart” or nothing more than the derogatory epithets heaped on their respective groups to keep them on the margins and irrelevant to the mainstream. Conversely, ethical objectivism suggests that relativism is moot as there is a universal truth that states that right and wrong are fixed concepts and do not change according to the environment or the external influences of the larger society.

Standpoint Theory/Epistemology: Why should women be empowered to lead movements for social justice?

Standpoint Theory is the philosophical principle rooted in the belief that one’s social situation as a member of a specific race, class or gender shapes knowledge. This knowledge is formed by the questions and concerns of the marginalized whose perspectives on various social situations allow for a more complete viewpoint than those of the mainstream or privileged majority who do not have the frame of reference or context for concerns specific to the marginalized members of society. Since the idea that the possessor of knowledge is the entity who holds power in that he or she determines truth, standpoint theory seeks to not only shift the frame for the definition and constitution of truth but also who has authority over the truth. It is this philosophical viewpoint that counters relativist thought/belief. In particular standpoint theory/epistemology focuses on the social situation of women who are far more susceptible to the dynamics of patriarchy that has historically striped away freedom and fueled the continued oppression of society’s most vulnerable groups.

Rationality: What value does reasoning/deliberation play in the quest for egalitarianism and freedom?

Reason is an exercise in reflection. The act of reflecting is a call to take action. Deliberation in practical reasoning gives rise to potential physical action and the possible consequences of inaction while theoretical reasoning aims to modify one’s beliefs. Practical reasoning is not only tied to physical action(s) but also to the attitude/intention to engage in action.

Critical Race Theory: In what ways does the experience of racism inform the past,  present and future decisions that members of affected groups made/make/will make? Given knowledge acquired through successful engagement in the components of this curriculum, how does this knowledge inform and impact the ways that non-group members conduct their personal and professional interactions with group members to positively impact the quest for universal equality?

Critical Race Theory is the perspective that examines how the social construction of race and its by-product, racism, impact the experiences of racial minority groups as well as the attitudes and beliefs about those who claim membership each racial group. Tracing the roots of racism through the period of African enslavement to the present, CRT allows proclaimed members of racially oppressed groups to construct identities in response to the bias and prejudices experienced. CRT lends itself not only to an individual’s proclaimed racial identity, but this philosophical approach also lends space for proclaimed membership to other gender, religion, class, sexual orientation-based group alignments at their intersections. CRT guides the action of creating a response to racism in the wake of centuries of oppression and discrimination. It is the overarching goal of this curriculum unit and the pragmatic function of the performance tasks and public products created by my students.

This curriculum unit will examine key ideas that address the following questions:

  1. What has been the historical policy for involving marginalized people in scientific research?
  2. What falsehoods or breaches in bioethics have impacted the lives of marginalized people? What are the extent of those impacts?
  3. How does the history/legacy/institution of slavery connect to modern issues of scientific and social justice?
  4. What are the major scientific injustices that perpetuate inequality in the recent past through the present day?
  5. In what ways can these injustices be combatted? What media are best for taking action against these injustices and moving toward freedom for marginalized people and their communities?
  6. When do the rights of others matter? Is there a point where one forfeits his or her rights?

Some of the terms/ideas that will be explored include but are not limited to the following:

Structural Violence Adam Burtle suggests, “Structural violence refers to systematic ways in which social structures harm or otherwise disadvantage individuals.” The concept of structural violence suggests that social injustices such as racism, sexism, classism, etc. negatively impact the ways in which individuals are treated. Structural violence can impact multiple aspects of one’s life including the way they are treated with respect to providing appropriate healthcare/medical treatment.

Institutional Racism Nadra Kareem Nittle with states, “Institutional racism is defined as racism perpetrated by government entities such as schools, the courts, or the military.” Little goes on to state that this type of racism affects the bulk of the people that make up a racial group, not just individuals. In this curriculum unit, students will examine how institutional racism contributes to the scientific, both biological and social, ostracism of marginalized groups.

Ecofeminism Voices for Biodiversity states the following about ecofeminism: “Ecofeminism offers a way of thinking and organizing ourselves by encouraging interconnectedness with our environment and addressing the subjugation of women and marginalized peoples.” Women are often impacted deeply by environmental concerns such as climate change which can affects crop health/abundance. For many women in less industrialized nations, women often serve as vendors in local markets for food staples and other goods. Issues that affect crop quality can in turn affect a family’s income and overall quality of life. Additionally, other health concerns exist in the fact that toxins often deposit in critical resources for women and children such as breastmilk, for example. Toxic milk can negatively affect the health and life outcomes for a woman’s children and even affect her own health as the toxins build in her tissues. Another example of how ecology impacts women has to do with access to education. Women in less industrialized nations are often responsible for obtaining water for her household. This tedious and time-consuming chore impacts the ability of girls to attend school and some women’s ability to work outside of their homes. Students’ understanding of the ways in which women at the national and international level are impacted by various scientific and social injustices will lend itself to shaping national and international human rights policy/advocacy.

Gender Medicine

According to a report penned by Loddo et al, “Gender medicine is the dimension of medicine that studies gender influences on pathophysiology, clinical signs, prevention and therapy of diseases.” This concept explores the ways that diseases and treatments vary according to gender. It also brings to light the fact that many clinical trials that are conducted are not always conducted in representative ways. Knowledge of some diseases are vetted based on studies that mostly study the effects in men. The findings from these studies are sometimes applied to the prognoses of women even though women and men have been found to respond differently to certain pathogens as well as treatment methods.  In this component of the curriculum unit, students will learn about the significance of gender-based medicine and how it influences social, scientific and political policy.

Geomedicine Bill Davenhall suggests that, “Geomedicine uses modern information technology to deliver information on a patient’s potential environmental exposures into the hands of the clinician while they are in the examination room.” Through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), not only will the health of the planet be measured but now this same data resources will impact the health of individuals. Geomedicine is designed to take into account where people live, work and play and how exposure to specific environments and their inherent toxins can adversely affect our health and ultimate quality of life. This environmental profile is intended to inform civilians and clinicians with the awareness of potential contributors to potential health risks and inform decisions around preventative care.

Distributive Justice Strongly linked to subjectivity, this concept addresses the idea that the allocation of goods, services and resources are done so from the vantage point of the privileged and shows little to no consideration for marginalized groups’ perspectives. This practice/tendency in turn creates “distributive injustice.” A strict adherence to equal allocation ideally would result in equality at all levels with respect to resource distribution. John Rawls’ Difference Principle reasons that strict adherence to equal distribution is only acceptable if and when the most vulnerable members of society will be better off without strict adherence than they would be with strict adherence. Conversely, when the Difference Principle and pure egalitarianism is not followed, this practice/tendency in turn creates “distributive injustice,” which is lends itself to social injustice and continued oppression.

Environmental Racism/Justice The assumption about people of color is that they do not care about the environment. Dorceta Taylor, Ph.D. argues against this notion. Environmental activism is needed in most communities of color. Taylor’s research chronicles data across multiple racial groups that demonstrate the overwhelming presence of toxicity in and near low-income minority communities in the United States with the rural and suburban South being particularly vulnerable in states with the highest percentages of impoverished minorities. The toxic presence of pollutants not only adversely affect the health of the residents but also adversely affect their property values as well as the quality of various other institutions that are connected to the “wealth” of communities such as high-quality schools, hospitals, jobs, etc. These industrial infringements are not only collective as they pertain to the community as a whole but these infringements also negatively affect the individual wealth of families whose property values are affected by the presence of industrial pollution as well as the health of residents who rely on employment in these industries where the vast majority of the risky and toxic duties are relegated to minority employees.


This unit will explore various subtopics on racism, discrimination and various social injustices and how these phenomena impact specific marginalized groups. Students will engage in critical readings, critical discussions, critical writings, critical and critical thinking as well as critical and sustained research. By the end of the unit, students will create a public product that addresses a critical need for a specific marginalized group that shows the historical ramifications that compound a relevant and modern problem. Students will also be able to propose a clear strategy/means to address the identified need.

  • Students will be able to read various informational and fictional texts that introduce the subtopics and their impact on specific marginalized groups
  • Students will be able to view various lectures on issues specific to the social, emotional, physical, physiological/anatomical, biological, religious and ecological issues that affect marginalized communities.
  • Students will be able to evaluate author’s claims and cite evidence from multiple sources to support those claims
  • Students will be able to write argumentative pieces
  • Students will be able to engage in collaborative discussions
  • Students will be able to conduct research and develop work products that address a particular local, national or international instance of scientific/social injustice and the needs connected to that phenomena.


  • Read alouds
  • Shared readings
  • Jigsaws
  • Close reads
  • Engage in collaborative discussions
  • Collaborative and Independent informational and argumentative writing
  • Note taking
  • Graphic Organizers


★ Read alouds ★ Shared readings ★ Jigsaws ★ Close reads ★ Engage in collaborative discussions ★ Collaborative and Independent informational and argumentative writing ★ Note taking ★ Graphic Organizers

Lesson Plans

Lesson 1

Lesson Scope

This lesson is designed to introduce curriculum unit major concepts and essential question. Students will be introduced to the culminating assignment/project which will involve developing a social justice campaign that addresses a particular issue/topic from the unit and is aligned with the overarching theme/subtopics of the course: geomedicine, gender medicine, ecofeminism, structural violence, institutional racism, environmental justice, distributive justice. This campaign will be developed as a group project and will involve written informational and argumentative essays/photo essays/ documentaries/public service announcements/pamphlets/brochures, persuasive speeches that present evidence for the practical need for the campaign designed.

Learning Objective

By lesson’s end, students will be able to identify and describe the major subtopics of the unit.

Materials- Assigned readings on subtopics, graphic organizer, desktop/laptop computers, word strips (see Appendix A), Post-It Notes or highlighters for text annotating
Opener/Do Now: Post the following words on the board or in a focal point of the room for all students to see: geomedicine, gender medicine, ecofeminism, structural violence, institutional racism. Ask students to define terms in their own words or make inferences regarding meaning.



1)      Have students count off by “1-2-3-4-5-6-7” and have students assemble in groups

2)      Assign articles and videos that introduce the subtopics to students by number. For example all 1’s will read/scan article on geomedicine, all 2’s will read/scan article on gender medicine, all 3’s will read/scan article on ecofeminism, all 4’s will read/scan article on structural violence, all 5’s will read/scan article on institutional racism, all 6’s will read/scan article on environmental justice and all 7’ will read/scan article on distributive justice. Students will should annotate readings in order to teach their subtopic to peers.

3)      Numbered groups will share/discuss the initial reading with each other

4)      Groups should regroup into larger groups where one of each number is in the group (jigsaw). Each group will have a reader 1-7. Each student should take turns presenting on what he or she read. Students will complete the graphic organizer during the presentations. Teacher should circulate and observe conversations/presentations.

5)      Teacher should have students return to whole group and discuss/clarify the concepts students read about to make sure that students have a solid understanding of the subtopics.

Closing/Exit Activity: Students will write down 2 questions they have about something that they read or heard in their groups.

Lesson 2

Lesson Scope

At this stage in the curriculum unit, students will delve more deeply into the subtopics highlighted at the outset. In order to be able to create summative assessments/public products that serve as an effective and persuasive call to action, students will need to research more closely a few of the subtopics that stand out to them.

Learning Objective

By the lesson’s end students will be able to produce additional research/information on a specific subtopic of interest.


Handout, Selection of Readings, Word Strips, Post-It Notes, Pen or Pencil

Opener/Do Now

Using the word strips from the initial lesson, post the strips in various locations throughout the classroom, leaving room for pupils to stand near or under the posted strips. Have students select 3 subtopics that they would like to explore in more detail by having them stand near the subtopic of their choice with three rotations completed.


1)      Students will select 3 of the subtopics that they would like to learn more about during lesson opener.

2)      Based on their selections, students will read specific teacher-assigned readings  pertaining to their selected subtopics as distributed by the teacher.

3)      While reading, students will annotate texts.

4)       After completing all three readings, students will partner with a peer who read the same text or a reading on the same subtopic and discuss their thoughts, questions, realizations, wonderings, etc.

5)      Students will then be given a specific passage to read for a close reading from the three selected texts.

Closing/Exit Activity

Students will record 2 things they learned and one thing they found interesting on the exit slip.

Lesson 3

Lesson Scope

Students will be assigned a subtopic to investigate in order to develop their campaign for addressing a particular subtopic. Each of the 7 subtopics will be researched independently by student groups of 3-4. Each group will submit a proposal for the written, spoken and visual aspect of their project. Each group will identify at least 3 separate forums for presenting what they have learned about their selected subtopic and how this topic has impacted a particular community/communities or demographic at the national and/or international level. Each group must describe the historical background for their subtopic as well as analyze the present manifestations for a particular demographic(s) with respect to the threat this particular subtopic poses for the equal treatment of the identified demographic(s).

Learning Objective

By the end of the lesson, students will have determined the portion of the 3 assignment components he or she will contribute to the group project.


Handouts, supplemental readings

Opener/Do Now:

Gather materials to complete proposals


1)      Students will read/review resource banks pertaining to their topic in their assigned groups.

2)      Students will record notes on research for their portion of the 3 assignment components of their campaign.

Closing/Exit Activity:

Submit campaign proposal document

[Please see PDF attached above for lesson plans & appendices]


Bassett, M. (2015). Why your doctor should care about social justice [Video File]. Retrieved from

Burke-Harris, N. (2014). How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime [Video File]. Retrieved from

Burtle, A. (2013). Structural violence [web log comment]. Retrieved from

Davenhall, B (2012). Geomedicine: Geography and personal health. Retrieved from

Davenhall, B. (2009). Your health depends on where you live [Video File]. Retrieved from

Forbriger, K. (2014). School spotlight: George Washington Carver high school for engineering & science. Retrieved from

Freund, D.M.P. (2016, April 28). We can’t forget how racist institutions shaped homeownership in America. The Washington Post, Retrieved from

Garza, A., Cullors, P. & Tometi, O. (2016). An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter. [Video File]. Retrieved from

Kurup, D. (2016). A young scientist’s quest for clean water [Video File]. Retrieved from

Lamont, J. & Favor, C.  (2017). Distributive Justice. In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from

Loddo, G., Cottonaro, S., Daga, F., & Bellini, P. (2014). Gender medicine: A new approach for healthcare. Retrieved from

Manchanda, R. (2014). What makes us sick? Look upstream [Video File]. Retrieved file

McGregor, A. (2014). Why medicine often has dangerous side effects for women [Video File]. Retrieved from

Nittle, N.K. (2018). Five examples of institutional racism in the United States. Retrieved from

Persinger, R. (2016). Loosening poverty’s grip in North Philly focus of panel. The Philadelphia Tribune, Retrieved from s-grip-in-north-philly-focus-of-panel/article_2330bed1-28d5-599b-be65-ff73b070b0ef.html.

Roberts, D. (2015). The problem with race-based medicine [Video File]. Retrieved from

Romero, M. (2017). Census: Philly remains the poorest U.S. city. Retrieved from

Roy, S. (2016). Science in service to the public good [Video File]. Retrieved from

Schmonsky, J. (2012). The growing importance of ecofeminism. Retrieved from

School District of Philadelphia. (n.d.) General Format. Retrieved from

Skloot, R. (2010). The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. New York: Broadway Books.

Stein, R. (2004). New perspectives on environmental justice: Gender, sexuality, and activism. Piscataway: Rutgers University Press.

Worth, P. (2017). UCS is partnering with groups in threatened communities on analysis tailored to meet their local needs-and achieve shared goals. Catalyst, Winter. Retrieved from


CC.1.2.11–12.B Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences and conclusions based on and related to an author’s implicit and explicit assumptions and beliefs.

CC.1.2.11–12.G Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

CC.1.2.11–12.J Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college- and career-readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

CC.1.4.11–12.A Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately.

CC.1.4.11–12.C Develop and analyze the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.11–12.G Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics.

CC.1.4.11–12.I Distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims; develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

CC.1.4.11–12.V Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CC.1.5.11–12.A Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.