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Geography of Civil Rights

This year the Geography Awareness Week theme is the Geography of Civil Rights. Read the American Association of Geographers announcement on Geography of Civil Rights 

As you explore civil rights movements with your students, throughout history or current events, remember these questions:

Where? * Why there? * Why care? 

SUNDAY:  The Kansas Geographic Alliance is hosting a clearinghouse of resources to assist in deepening our understanding of geographic themes of civil rights, including a collection of maps, media, and lessons.

MONDAY: Happy #GeographyAwarenessWeek ! Today we're sharing our Geography Questions poster. Request a pdf or hardcopy (while supplies last) for your classroom. Use this as a tool to guide students as you explore civil rights from a geographic perspective. 

TUESDAY: Mohandas Gandhi is one of the most influential figures in 20th century civil rights movements. Watch this short video to learn more about him. #geographyawarenessweek

Learn more about The Salt March. Where did it start and end? Why there? Consider the connections and the conditions in India at the time. What were some of the consequences of the event occurring in India? #geographyawarenessweek

Google Earth Voyage: The Salt March to Dandi, Retrace the steps of Mahatma Gandhi's Salt March from Sabarmati to Dandi to campaign for India's freedom.

View Teaching Tolerance Trilogy of NonViolent Movements. Where did these occur? Why there? (ex. diffusion, connections, conditions) What was the impact? Use the TAGE GeoQuestions Poster to guide you. 

WEDNESDAY: Happy #gisday! Check out the resources on 

This video teaches major events in the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and King’s significant contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.

GeoInquiries: Explore Dr. King's road to a Birmingham jail and explore the geographic issues in a U.S. civil rights movement.

THURSDAY: Learn more about the Farmworkers Strike w/ Dolores Huerta & Caesar Chavez. Where did these strikes occur? Why there? What was the impact? #geographyawarenesswee

Voices of the United Farm Workers Movement in Texas follows the grassroots movement in Texas from its inception in 1966 to today. #geographyawarenessweek

Learn about the 1966 Starr County Farm Workers' Strike from the @TxHistComm . What patterns do you see in movements? Where are they happening? Are there common connections or conditions?

Thank you to Tina Melcher for creating this Story Map on Civil Rights in Texas. Student handout and lesson guide also available.

FRIDAY: N. Ireland and the U.S.: A Shared Civil Rights Struggle

This map of U.S. Women's Suffrage tells a story. What is it? What factors influenced that spatial pattern?

Where? Why there? Why care? Mapping Social Movements: This project produces & displays maps showing the historical geography of social movements that influenced American life and politics since the start of the 20th century.

Researching the use of geography in the civil rights movements w/ Josh Inwood @PSUEMS

SATURDAY: What is environmental justice? It is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Scroll to the bottom of the page for an excellent timeline.

EJSCREEN lets users compare some demographic and environmental characteristics with nationally standardized data. This means economically advantaged or disadvantaged areas can see their environmental situation relative to those of other places, near and far.

Use the EJSREEN with the Teaching Tolerance lesson to learn more about the geography of environmental justice.

Check back daily for new resources!


Everyone who requests the new poster between November 12- November 30 is added to a drawing to receive a free book. Drawing is held December 1. Winners are contacted by email and books are mailed in December. Books include

  • We March by Shane Evans
  • Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren, Robert Casilla
  • Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez by Monica Brown, Joe Cepeda
  • Grandfather Gandhi, by Arun Gandhi, Bethany Hegedus
  • One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Separate is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling
  • Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull, Yuyi Morales
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford, Ekua Holmes
  • The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, Vanessa Brantley-Newton
  • Who Was Nelson Mandela? By Pam Pollack
  • Who Was Gandhi? By Dana Meachen Rau
  • Who Was Susan B. Anthony? By Pam Pollack
  • What Is Malala Yousafzai? By Dinah Brown
  • Who Was Cesar Chavez? By Dana Meachen Rau
  • March (Trilogy) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
  • Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching by Alana Murray and Deborah Menkart