For Educators

The Avoice For Educators section is designed to bring to life the information on the history and work of African American Congressional members featured in the Avoice Virtual Library. For students, our goal is to encourage young people to pursue careers in government based on the exemplar work of previous and current congressional leaders.

Each lesson unit corresponds to an Avoice exhibit and contains activities, primary document sources, worksheets, a vocabulary list, and a bibliography to guide teachers in using the library’s resources to supplement classroom instruction in U.S. History, Government, and Civic Education. Teachers may choose to follow the units in a sequential format or select specific activities most appropriate for students’ varying levels of learning skills and interests.

We hope that you find these lesson units useful and adaptable resources for increasing your students’ understanding of the diverse history of our nation, how the government works, and what role they can and should play in the political process.

Lesson Units:

Martin Luther King Jr. HolidayMartin Luther King Jr. Holiday
Learn about the making of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Bill as the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) led the charge for the passage of a federal observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. 's birthday, January 15, honoring his contribution to the United States. For 15 years the CBC advocated, debated, and sponsored legislation for the holiday and achieved passage of the bill in 1983. Students will learn about CBC's determination with the support of grassroots organizations to establish a national holiday honoring the legacy of Dr. King in the civil rights movement for all Americans.
Grade level: 6-12

Women of the Congressional Black CaucusWomen of the Congressional Black Caucus
Learn about the role of women in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). African-American Congresswomen play a major role in a broad range of domestic and international issues and influence legislation on such issues as civil rights, education and healthcare. Students will learn about their work as members of the CBC; the challenges and successes they experience as members of Congress; and their passion to improve the lives of all Americans.
Grade level: 6-12

Voting Rights ActVoting Rights Act of 1965
Learn about the creation and ratification of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the history of the Congressional Black Caucus’ on-going efforts to ensure the enforcement of the law and the reauthorization of portions that had an expiration date. Students will also learn about the power of voting in a democratic society and why it is important to protect this right for all citizens.
Grade level: 8-12

Anti-Apartheid MovementAnti-Apartheid Movement
Explore the apartheid government in South Africa and the role of the Congressional Black Caucus in dismantling it. Students will examine African Americans’ response to U.S. foreign policies through the legislative actions of the CBC.
Grade level: 8-12

Environmental Justice MovementEnvironmental Justice Movement
Discover how African American Congressional members fight, often in collaboration with grassroots organizations, for environmental justices for minority and low-income communities. Students will explore topics like the Hurricane Katrina disaster and pollution in the Gulf Region to learn about the growing need for communities to become more engaged in protecting their environment and how best to do it.
Grade level: 8-12

additional information and links.