A Canadian law student makes a startling discovery about missing and murdered Indigenous women. Companies use blockchain technology to fight child labor. British children clean up the Thames on a boat made from recycled plastic.
Those are just a few of the hundreds of stories Global Voices has told over the past 10 years. And through those stories, youth in classrooms across North America have learned about important issues like Indigenous rights, child labor, environmental sustainability, mental health, gender equality … the list goes on.
One of WE’s founding principles is that media literacy is the foundation of engaged citizenship. WE believes that caring about the world starts with learning about it, especially for young people. The Global Voices program is our largest and most well-known education program. Its articles and related free curriculum-aligned lesson plans were launched more than 10 years ago, and it is now distributed to thousands of educators across North America.
The Global Voices columns and curriculum-aligned lesson plans distill current events and social issues into digestible reading and discussion questions for young people. It is an agile resource on local and global issues that is always timely, unlike textbooks.
Teachers find Global Voices especially helpful in civics, English literature, science and social studies, though the lessons align with Ministry of Education priorities, they can be applied to almost any subject area. Global Voices comes with Elementary (Grades 4–8) and Secondary (9–12) ready-to-use classroom resources that are developed by curriculum specialists and aligned to curriculum standards. The issues covered include genocide, environmental challenges, human rights, women’s empowerment, mental health, globalization and Indigenous issues.
These issues are introduced with the aim of supporting educators whose students are passionate about taking action on a cause related to the issue. And it makes taking action easy by relating the issue to peoples’ everyday lives, and offering ideas for simple and achievable local action. For instance, a column about protecting the environment might include lifestyle-related tips for a school committed to eliminating single-use plastic, or ideas for how a family can reduce their dependence on cleaners that negatively affect waterways.
To expand the discussion, these columns also appear on select media platforms (print and online) across Canada and the U.S.
Global Voices takes a village. Craig and/or Marc Kielburger volunteer their time and are deeply involved in all aspects of each column, from ideation to writing and editing. They are grateful for the support of a skilled team of researchers, writers and curriculum experts. Like all of our co-founders’ projects, if remuneration is provided for articles or books, the funds are donated back to WE Charity to advance its social mission.