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    A Social Justice Poem by Alan Escarcega
    Posted on 02/02/2016
    Middle College High School @Northgate teacher, Robin Wilson, and her Humanities class began the school year analyzing origin stories from eight distinct world cultures. This was an adaptation of an activity found in The Big History Project. The Big History Project is a free multidisciplinary supplemental resource for any history or science curriculum.

    Students read and critically examined the origin stories, which led to critical discourse around the issues of human rights. Students were asked to write arguments to support claims on debatable issues, such as the current Syrian crisis.

    This led to students examining and questioning the human rights violations that they see and experience in their own communities. Students are becoming active participants and leaders in their school system and local communities. For example, three students who are active participants in Clear Sky Native Youth Council have been voted in as board members for United Native Education Alliance, a local Native American educational coalition that addresses social and academic disparities; and several students have initiated a service learning event to provide food for homeless teens in Seattle’s University District.

    Allan Escarcega, a member of the class and Assiniboine Sioux tribal member, was inspired after completing his research project to write the following poem about the Syrian crisis:

    Syria, 2016 by Allan Escarcega

    Syrians deserve the right
    To stand up and fight/And so they did

    And at the end of the night
    Looking up at the sky

    Only to see smoke and explosive lights
    Dead bodies and broken buildings
    Are the only things in sight

    Who’s gonna be left when they get their rights
    Watching people die has become their everyday life

    I would hate being afraid of being alive
    Who knew my protectors would be here to terrorize

    Life just keeps getting harder for the youth to be smarter
    On the way to school just to be doomed
    By a coward martyr

    It’s dangerous to cross there
    When a sniper’s got you in his crosshair

    Families evacuate before they evaporate
    Trying to find ways not to die today

    All these unanswered questions
    Where’d we lose our connection

    Where words are no longer effective
    Losing your direction, feeling helpless
    All of your senses tellin’ you look for independence

    So you have to flee the scene to seek peace
    Lookin’ at all this debris
    And all the ash which used to be laughs
    Nothing but the aftermath of blasts and echoed

    The whole city’s shakin’
    Nervous but aggravated
    Only choices left
    Stay, leave or retaliating