The ComicBook Debate Workshop is one of the most important elements of CBD’s initiatives to give back to the community. We strongly believe that superheroes and comic books can be used as a tool for enrichment, learning, confidence building and inspiration. As lifelong fans of these superheroes, the CBD team is committed to using our platform to have students experience this same level of enrichment through a highly interactive workshop.
To date, we have partnered with multiple schools and programs to bring our workshop to students around New York City. In 2016, ComicBook Debate partnered with Independent Workshops to bring the first course to life. This workshop, titled The Science of the Superhero, taught students from Grades 3 & 4 the very basic elements to what makes superheroes special. Activities included group discussions, imagining their own heroes and using our detailed slides to create a rewarding experience.
The second workshop ComicBook Debate ran was with The ROC-Network For Learning. This workshop, titled The Impact of Superheroes, taught students from Grade 5-7 and was more intensive than the last. This course had students create their own stories, address the importance of race and superheroes of color to the medium, as well as why superheroes bring confidence to others. These two workshops were great stepping stones for the site and the team to learn the ins and outs of the workshop and our mission statement, providing us with the experience necessary for our most in-depth workshop yet.
In 2018, ComicBook Debate partnered with The Black Panther Challenge and GoFundMe to host our own Black Panther event. In a matter of days, ComicBook Debate raised $5000 and took an entire middle school in Bronx, NY to see the film. Myself and the rest of the Farooqi Bros were adamant in bringing this event to a school where kids will truly feel impacted. In line with the goals set by Fredrick Joseph and The Black Panther Challenge, our goal was to have students of color, fans of color like us, enjoy this special event. Partnering with The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, ComicBook Debate took their entire middle school to see the Black Panther in theaters. The kids were absolutely thrilled and, more importantly, inspired by the film and the event set up for them. Students showed their appreciation by writing thank you letters and even their own reviews of the film.
After the film, our partnership with The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology continued. We relaunched the ComicBook Debate Workshop and partnered with Areté Education, a non-profit organization that manages multiple schools in Bronx, NY. We brought a highly embedded and layered workshop for students in Grades 7 & 8, which resulted in a brand new Student Corner section, built directly into ComicBook Debate. Simply titled, the ComicBook Debate Workshop, we designed a course that deep dived into the socio-political history of the characters, spoke about the historical time periods that heroes were invented and the significance of certain superheroes appearing in the Civil Rights Era, Women’s Rights Era, Post-9/11 and today’s world. The workshop allowed students to take ownership of their original work. With our designated Student Corner, students were able share their analysis, original stories, and film reviews. As ComicBook Debate has evolved into a place for strong film reviews, we wanted to incorporate this experience with our students. We analyzed films like Black Panther, Man of Steel, Spider-Man 2, Wonder Woman, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, examining both the impact of these films and the political and social themes embedded within them. This workshop is our most detailed to date and brought an incredible opportunity for both the school and the site.
ComicBook Debate is growing every single day and evolving just as fast. Our team of diverse writers and artists bring their own unique perspectives from around the globe to the website and consistently deliver on pieces that truly respect the source material as well as create a positive and enriching vibe for our readers. The relaunched ComicBook Debate Workshop is built with a style easily accessible to other interested schools and programs, with guidelines and curriculums that teachers of any school will be able to pick up and follow with ease. Most of all, the Student Corner of the site will continue to hold and house the work of the students, giving them a sense of ownership of their work as well as motivation to create, build and do more. Just as superheroes and comic books enriched our lives as kids, we wanted to have the opportunity to extend that to kids today, elevating their sense of passion, love and understanding for what these heroes represent.