The Structured Controversy

The Structured Controversy

(This is adapted from a case study developed by Anne Weyandt)


After the death of Philando Castile in July, 2016, tensions ran high between community members; the police; and elected officials.  Protesters of all ages, races and cultures were present at the Governor’s Residence in St. Paul after Castile’s death, and other acts of protest have taken place across the Twin Cities since this tragic incident.  Amid calls for greater police accountability and acknowledgement of past acts of racism and exclusion, women and men across the metro area are struggling with two key questions:  why do these violent acts occur, and what can we do—individually and collectively—to make change happen in our communities, so that our children and families are safe, and justice is served?  St. Kate’s has a rich tradition of student engagement in the community, both in terms of providing support for the basic needs of community members, and as voices for systemic change in our schools, workplaces, churches and streets.

An alum of St. Kate’s wishes to donate $10,000.00, in the name of St. Kate’s to some project that will lead to racial justice.  It is up to your learning community to determine what would be the best use of that donation by reading Dr. King’s approach to racial injustice, researching possible social actions that would be responsive to the needs of our time, and presenting your research to your learning community along with your recommendation.

You will present your ideas to your community, using RTW. 




Using the research skills that you built in Searching for Truths, find one-two more sources to support one of these options:


Option 1:  You could donate the funds to an organization like the ACLU that is working to confront structural issues of racism in the criminal justice system:


Option 2:  You could donate the funds to Circle of Peace, an organization that supports building relationships between police and the community:


Option 3:  You could donate the funds to Black Lives Matter to support public protests and resistance to racial injustice:


Option 4:  You could donate funds to an organization that looks to create legislative change regarding police violence:


Option 5:  You could donate funds to a Gofundme website to support the family of Philando Castille:


Option 6:  You could donate funds to police training services:


Option 7:  Do you have another idea?  Go for it!  Research two-three solid sources. 



*** Instructions for the Structure of the Presentation***


  • You will present your arguments in video format. You may record a video or audio on your phone to post; you may create an audio PowerPoint, or you may create a YouTube video–the possibilities are endless.  You just need to use a format that your learning community can easily access.


  • You will present one RTW paragraph in your audio or video: One complex topic sentence + 3 CERs + one concluding sentence.


  • Your topic sentence will answer this question: How can we most effectively engage in the social action of donating funds to reduce racial violence in policing?  


  • Your CERs should be evidence taken from 2-3 sources that support your decision.


  • You should mention the name of your sources for your evidence—not the full cite—just the name.


  • Your concluding statement should be a strong, persuasive statement indicating why you believe your option to be the strongest option among the choices.