The Tour for Tolerance will be a three-part experience. The first will engage; the second will inform; the third will empower and foster commitment.
After students board the bus, it remains stationary, but through the use of video and accompanying oral histories, they will feel transported on a journey through history. The accompanying narrative of past conflicts will not be traumatic or inappropriate, but give the students a sense of what it means to be wrenched out of daily life and plunged into uncertainty.
In Part 1, students were largely passive—passengers on a journey—but in this segment they will, through technology, actively engage with individuals who survived events, such as a Jewish youth in Nazi Germany, a black college student during the civil rights movement, and a survivor of a WW11 Japanese internment camp in the United States. Survivors like these made significant differences in both their lives and lives of others. Skilled instructors help students understand the historical narratives, relating them to the students’ lives today and the choices they’ll make tomorrow.
Students will discuss how acts of social responsibility—from giving up their bus seat to someone in need, to promoting tolerant behaviors that prevent bullying and other dehumanizing experiences—can be practiced today. Students will have the opportunity to produce tolerance related interviews and cell phone videos for placement on the tourfortolerance.org website, and to develop projects that promote tolerance for their school.
Young people in America are surrounded—besieged—by intolerance. We are in the midst of a national crisis, profoundly divided across the social and political spectrum. The Tour for Tolerance can make a difference, and be part of the solution.