Economic inequality is one of the most prominent social justice issues affecting us locally, nationally, and globally, and a topic that is challenging for many students to discuss. Class has become the open secret that, ironically, divides our students at the same time as we, their teachers, work to eliminate those divisions through education: the intended class equalizer. By choosing economic inequality as the Workshop’s focus, we give our students a space to conduct research, to build narrative, and to organize plans of action. The interscholastic dynamic of the Workshop will allow our students to examine these questions through a variety of class perspectives, challenging their assumptions and stimulating their creativity in problem-solving.
Make it Local
It’s also important for our students to examine this theme through a local lens. Boston was named by the Brookings Institute as one of the cities with the highest income inequality in the U.S. By examining how this issue affects where they live, they develop a more personal connection to their learning.
Examine the Evidence
This map, created by Esri, from Wealth Divides, uses census tract income data to illustrate the decreasing presence of a middle class, as well as the proximity of extreme wealth and extreme poverty, in the Greater Boston area. On the accompanying map, each blue dot represents two households with an annual income greater than $200,000, while each yellow dot represents two households with an annual income less than $25,000. Reprinting permission by Esri.