a2-soapboxThe word “soapbox” refers to an impromptu political speech or exhortation delivered, usually on a streetcorner or public square, from a portable raised platform such as a wooden crate used for shipping soap in the old days.

Although we won’t literally have a box to stand on and we’ll be staying inside our classroom, a “soapbox” in the context of our class means a short but impassioned and informed public presentation related to our course topics.

Everyone will give one sometime in the semester. Soapbox days will have 4-5 presenters. The best one each day (by class vote) will receive extra credit and a FREE BAR OF SOAP.

Soapbox dates 9/18, 9/25, 10/11, 10/23, 10/30, 11/27

Soapbox Signup

Soapbox advice:
It does not need to be memorized, but…
Don’t read off a paper – make eye contact with your audience

Your soapbox should be…
– not longer than 3 minutes (they will be timed)
– not accompanied by slides or other media
– based on something real and specific (i.e. not hypothetical, abstract, or pure opinion) WITH SOURCES to back it up
– compelling, perhaps even convincing

Hand in your source(s) when you’re done speaking.
This is your chance to SPEAK OUT!

Soapbox Grading Rubric

Need Some Ideas?

This American Life Episode 656 (choose any of the 5 chapters) – Let Me Count the Ways, Sept 14, 2018.

Jon Bekken, “Toward a Democratic Journalism,” The American Historian, Aug 2018, 34-38.

Jamelle Bouie, “The Threat to Democracy Isn’t Coming From Its People,” Slate, Sept 14, 2018.

Yoni Applebaum, “Americans Aren’t Practicing Democracy Any More,” The Atlantic, Oct 2018.

What’s happening with North Carolina’s gerrymandering map before the midterms?

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, “How Crossing the US-Mexico Border Became a Crime,” The Conversation, April 30, 2017.

Should accessing public assistance, like food stamps, affect an immigrant’s ability to get or keep a green card? New York Times, 22 Sept 2018.

Who’d want to buy jewelry in the shape of gerrymandered Congressional districts?

The Dark Underside of Chinese “Birth Tourism” in New York City, New York Times, 10 Oct 2018