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  • Writer's pictureThe LCR Project

The Task F.O.R.C.E. Completes its First Week

On Monday, July 6th, Task F.O.R.C.E. began its first week of classes. Attorneys Shannon Davis and Attorney La-Zondra Randolph introduced themselves to the group and shared their learning objectives, and students followed, introducing themselves and sharing their reasons for attending the classes. A few of the students’ objectives included to learn about their rights, to learn about how the government works, and to continue learning throughout the summer.

This week, the topic of discussion was the Constitution; Attorney Davis introduced students to the preamble, the Constitution’s seven articles, and the Bill of Rights. Students engaged in the discussion by making connections between the words of the document and things they encounter in their daily lives.

Task F.O.R.C.E.’s first guest speaker, Professor Patricia Broussard, constitutional law professor at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, College of Law, gave a presentation on Tuesday titled “The Making of America.” This presentation put the Constitution into its historical context from its creation through to the impacts it has today. Professor Broussard focused especially on the ways that the laws of the United States have been used to legally oppress Black individuals and communities, such as the implementation of voting restrictions in response to Blacks holding about 2,000 elected offices during Reconstruction, and why it is so imperative that young Black people utilize their right to vote and to fully participate in our government.

After a day off to think about everything Professor Broussard shared, students returned on Thursday ready to engage in a discussion about everything they have learned. Students shared that they were upset at the ongoing history of cruelty Black people have faced in the United States, that they have a new and deeper understanding of the importance of Juneteenth, and that they were surprised by the 50 cent poll taxes. A student’s comment regarding share cropping and high interest rates following the Civil War sparked a conversation about the ways in which predatory lending, pawn shops, and payday advances continue to keep Blacks in debt today. These connections between the past and present highlight the need to continue to fight for change and justice in the United States.

Now, with an understanding of the Constitution and the human impacts of written laws, students will return to our Zoom classroom on Monday to discuss the Election Process. The Task F.O.R.C.E. civics classes are continuing throughout the summer every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday until August 6th

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