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What Does It Mean
 To Be An American?

Curriculum for high school and college students that examines what it means to be an American developed by the Mineta Legacy Project and Stanford’s SPICE program.

Six lessons on key issues

Immigration
Civic Engagement
Leadership
Civil Liberties
& Equity
Justice & Reconciliation
U.S.-Japan
Relations

These lessons are designed to encourage critical thinking through class activities and discussions. Video, strong imagery, and interactive components also support student learning.

Lessons

 

In this introduction, we hear from two U.S.  presidents and ask what it means to be an American.

01

Explore the history of immigration to the United States, the meaning of U.S. citizenship, and the role immigration has played in the building of U.S. society.

02

What is the meaning and value of civil liberties? Examine a historical case study and draw parallels to modern issues.

03

Examine the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy and why civic engagement is essential for democratic societies.

OVERVIEW
IMMIGRATION
CIVIL LIBERTIES & EQUITY
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

04

Examine modern-day social justice issues, the role that justice and reconciliation play in society, and the Japanese American Redress Movement.

05

What are the characteristics of effective leadership, and how do we foster those qualities in ourselves and others?

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06

 Investigate the history and current state of U.S.–Japan relations and consider the role individuals can play in bridging together different cultures.

JUSTICE & RECONCILIATION
LEADERSHIP
U.S.–JAPAN RELATIONS
GLOSSARY

— Ignacio Ornelas Rodriguez, Ph.D., Willow Glen High School and Stanford University

This curriculum springboards off of the inspiring life of civil servant, leader and legend in his own time, Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. We need this now more than ever.