A Messenger of Hope
When Edward James Olmos wanted to deliver a strong anti-drug and anti-gang message to kids in the barrios in his film American Me, he went home to East Los Angeles. There he invited young gang members like George Sarabia and Gil Espinoza as extras and crewmembers. He hoped to demystify the glamour of gangs, while giving kids new skills and a way out of the gang world. Before he met Eddie, George had only one goal in life: to come back from prison a hero — having earned his “stripes.” He now shares his life-changing story with other young people, asking them to stop the violence. “We all have a choice. You can do whatever you want to do,” George says. Then he pauses and adds, with quiet intensity, “Think about it. What you could do. What you could be.”

ELA Learning Standards:

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

W.9-10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9–10.2
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

WHST.9–10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

SL.9-10.1.c
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions

W.9-10.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the topic under investigation.

L.PK-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

W.PK-12.7
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.PK-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Skills: Hispanic heritage, cultural diversity, positivity, social emotional learning, interracial dialogue and healing, social studies, language arts, community service