Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything. — Muhammad Ali

Stand Up!

You don’t really lose when you fight for what you believe in. You lose when you fail to fight for what you care about. — Muhammad Ali

Cassius gets fed up with Corky bullying the neighborhood and makes the choice to stand up to him. His choices become even harder when he has to stand up to racism. Both Racism and Bullying are forms of Oppression. Oppression is when one person or group uses their power to keep another person or group down. It is important to recognize and identify oppressive behavior when you see it. Here are some of the roles people play in situations of oppression:

  • Perpetrator: Someone who commits an act of oppression.
  • Collaborator: Someone who sees the act of oppression and chooses to make the situation worse. This can be something as simple as laughing at what the perpetrator says or does.
  • Target: Someone who is oppressed by the Perpetrator.
  • Bystander/Witness: Someone who sees the act of oppression and chooses to ignore it or do nothing.
  • Upstander (Rescuer/Ally): Someone who sees the act of oppression and chooses to make the situation better. This can be as simple as comforting the Target or reporting the incident.

Be Great! Do Great Things!

The only limitations one has are the ones they place on themselves. — Muhammad Ali

  • Facing History and Ourselves is an amazing website dedicated to helping students learn about racism, antisemitism and prejudice so they can prevent it from happening in the future.
  • In small groups have students come up with a frozen image or tableau of an example of oppression they’ve seen at their school. Have students assume the roles of Perpetrator, Target, Bystander and Collaborator. Remind them to keep it real and based on what they have witnessed. Share the images and discuss them.
  • Download the ReThink app. Developed by 15-year-old Trisha Prabhu, this app helps you reduce cyberbullying and protect yourself online.
  • Get your entire school to participate each year in “No Name-Calling Week.”
  • Have the students stand or sit in a circle. Begin by paying a compliment to one student. That student must say, “Thank you” and choose someone else to pay a compliment to. That student then passes it on until it comes back to you.

Step into History

Don’t count the days, make the days count. — Muhammad Ali
The mission of the Muhammad Ali Center is to preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be. They have graciously provided some wonderful lesson plans:

For more activities, discussion questions and information go to CREATE, LEARN, DISCUSS