A new online project by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University in cooperation with the Rockefeller Foundation offers a free online course about the Selma, Alabama, voting rights marches of 1965. The new online course comes just in time as a powerful teaching aid as many schools have transitioned to online instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Designed in partnership with Left Field Labs and the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program, Selma Online is an interactive program that is designed for middle or high school students. The accompanying teachers’ guide makes it accessible and adaptable for teachers.
The platform uses scenes from Ava DuVernay’s 2014 film Selma as a storyboard to bring the voting rights movement to life and invite the next generation to walk in the footsteps of the civil rights crusaders.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, told the Associated Press that “it’s perfect timing, unfortunately, because of the crisis we are in. Not only is the timing optimal for teachers who are developing online lesson plans but also for families.”