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John Muir High School

Participating teacher: Cuauhtemoc Mauricio / History

Mr. Mauricio participated in all three of the professional development sessions for participating instructors. He introduced the project to his US History students by bringing them to the field trip to Little Tokyo where students explored the neighborhood and its history. They also participated in an interactive tour of the Japanese American National Museum’s Common Grounds exhibition.

In his spring 2023 course, Mr. Mauricio taught excerpts from Only What We Could Carry by Lawson Fusao Inada, Patricia Wakida, and William Hohrin, a Heyday Books that was also funded by California State Library’s Civil Liberties grant.

As a culmination of the project, Mr. Mauricio’s students researched a contemporary issue and recorded podcasts. Some of the issues they explored included: connections between foster care and mental health; the two-tiered justice system in the US; damages caused by the “zero tolerance” policy at the US-Mexico border; and many more.


Building Empathy is supported by funding provided by the State of California through the California Civil Liberties program, administered by the California State Library.

What we hear!

“The worst thing I would say about the government separating the families is that a lot of kids were probably stuck by themselves and were so lost and confused about what was going on and had no idea why they were in trouble or anything… They were probably wondering why they can’t enjoy life the same as every other person here.
—Angel, Rose City High School

“It was great to get to explore and … learn new things about someone else’s culture. And then we went to the museum – it was a great experience.”

Andrew at John Muir High School