Citizenship: Developing Intentional Multi-Racial Relationships

Wendy Mueller, Language Arts, Starmount Academy of Excellence

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


From the moment of our birth, we enter a citizenship over which we have no control, yet this same citizenship can often control everything about our lives from where we go to school, the friends that we choose, the neighborhood that we live in, and even how we view ourselves. Often, this citizenship includes our racial makeup, our religion, and our family heritage. In our current climate, we see many racial challenges as we define our society. But what if we were to look under our skin? Would there be differences there? I have often heard the expression, “We are all the same under our skin.” As I have heard the expression, I have wondered if it were really true. Yes, biologically, we are the same; but is that who we are? Are we a biological unit, or are we something more? Are we unique beings combining all that we have experienced and seen into beautiful creations that express and hide emotions, thinking that we are not enough because what we hide underneath might not be acceptable? Even at the tender age of seven or eight years old, students are already hiding behind the shell of expectations, hesitant to reveal themselves because they might not be enough. By exploring citizenship, friendship, belonging, and poetry, students can learn that yes, they are different, and yes, that is not only okay but also wonderful.