A Walk in Their Shoes is the idea of a single teacher that grew and took on a life of its own. As late as the 1980 U.S. Census, Marathon County, Wisconsin, was part of the “whitest" congressional districts in the United States. In the late 1980’s and 1990’s, central Wisconsin began to see immigration of Southeast Asian refugees. Today, the Wausau School District—the largest district in the county—boasts students who speak over 35 different home languages.
It is critical that our young people learn to work and live in a global society. As educators, we also feel that it is important that young people understand the impact of other cultures and that history takes place everyday across our planet. Our hope is that A Walk in Their Shoes can continue to bring authors with compelling stories of humanity and transformation to students and community members in Marathon County so we may:
•Better equip the children of central Wisconsin to live and thrive in a global society.
•Empower young people to make a difference in the world in which they live through
sharing relevant stories of people caught up in the tide of history and the impact that a
single individual can make on the world.
•Provide context and relevance for classroom instruction of social and cultural studies.
A Walk in Their Shoes is a collaborative effort by north central Wisconsin educators who hope to put a very personal face on the current events that fill the airwaves, print media, and the Internet. By providing access to powerful speakers who have first-hand experience with contemporary history we hope to provide middle school students across central Wisconsin with lessons that impact students’ lives, helping them see the world with different eyes, the opportunity to look at life from a global perspective, and the chance to see that one person can truly make a difference.