What needs to happen to bring a divided community together? When politicians focus on division, levers are available to make a positive difference in the way people see each other?
Major league baseball manager Joe Maddon grew up in Hazelton, Pennslyvania. When Maddon grew up Hazelton’s residents were the descendants of Irish, Italian, Polish, and Jewish immigrants. Times have changed. Jobs in the coal industry dried up and the town was dying and the population was shrinking. At the same time, a number of immigrants have moved into Hazelton, trying to build lives for themselves in the city. Some politicians sought to blame immigrants for the town’s struggles, rising to power on platforms promising to crack down on immigration.
Maddon saw the divisions in his hometown and decided to do something about it.
- Engaging the film:
- How would you explain why Maddon the tensions in Hazelton impacted Maddon? How does he explain his motivation?
- How do changemakers go from identifying a problem to building a plan for action?
- One way to explore the work of the Hazelton Integration Project is through the lens of the Democratic Knowledge Project’s 10 Questions for Changemakers. Read the questions, make sure you understand them, and use what you know about Maddon from the film to imagine how he and his partners might answer them.
- Another strategy for exploring ways to make a difference is the People, Parts, and Interactions thinking routine. Consider the system that Maddon is working to change. What are the parts to that system? Who are the people involved? How do the people in the system interact? And, what changes does he seek to make to impact the parts and people connected to that system?
- Stepping Back
- What are the issues that you notice might get in the way of building a more welcoming an inclusive community? What changes might you be able to make to positively impact the situation? You might use the 1o Questions for Changemakers model as a guide to building an action plan or the People, Parts, and Interactions routine to explore the dynamics. Below are tree additional routines you can use to brainstorm an action plan: