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Guiding Question

What one or two methods would you advise a group of people to use in order to bring political, social, cultural, and/or economic transformation?

Project Details

Strategies for Change Essay

We have examined several different strategies for change throughout our unit on African Americans and their fight for civil rights and equality. These strategies have included, but are not limited to; Constitutional amendments, laws, civil disobedience, violence, organizations and court cases. You will research another group’s struggle for rights and equality as well. Then you will write an essay discussing which strategies you would advise groups to use and why.



  1. Choose another group to research, conduct research including taking notes/paraphrasing/citing sources. 
  2. Complete graphic organizer for essay.
  3. Write 2-3 page essay defending your choice of strategy, evidence to support your choice, and possibly a counter argument as well. Your essay will also include an introduction and a conclusion.

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Key Concepts and Terms

Legislation and Court Cases: This approach seeks to create positive change through existing avenues such as legislation (laws) and winning court cases.


Civil Disobedience: This approach means intentionally refusing to comply or obey certain government demands or laws, especially those that are seen as unjust.


Direct Action: This approach uses of strikes, demonstrations, or other public forms of protest to achieve change.


Separatism: Advocates for the separation of a certain group of people from a larger body on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or gender.


Armed Resistance: This approach believes that violence may be necessary to achieve change, especially to defend oppressed or marginalized people against violence from those in power.

Black Nationalism vs. Black Separatism: Both are concerned with the rights of Black people. Black Nationalism is concerned with creating a strong sense of Black identity and pride. Black Separatism believes that Black people should be separated from other races (particularly white people). All Black Separatists are Black Nationalists, but not all Black Nationalists are Black Separatists.

Many of these approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive, meaning some movements may use more than one approach to achieve change.

How does social change happen?

A Theory of Social Change