that spotlights Civics and Citizenship Education
with support from the states of California, Florida and
New York, and the United States Department of Justice,
Immigration and Naturalization Service, On Common
Ground helps viewers fully understand the rights,
privileges and responsibilities associated with
Designed also to be used in the classrooms, the
individual lessons focus on such crucial issues as
racial polarization, extremism and freedom of speech,
individual rights versus the public good, separation of
powers, and checks and balances.
On Common Ground Episodes:
City Hall comes under siege when an unemployed worker blames the
government for his legal and financial difficulties, and
takes revenge. Theme: Why government is necessary; the
purpose it serves.
Like Taking Candy From a Baby
Law enforcement personnel and other city officials
attempt to infiltrate a telemarketing boiler room scam
that preys on elderly immigrants. Theme: The U.S.
Constitution as the basis for the rule of law.
For the Greater Good
The city is polarized when a proposed highway
project threatens homes in the Latino section of the
city. Theme: Individual rights versus the public or
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
When compliance with federal law threatens the
city with financial disaster, the city comes into direct
conflict with the disabled community and the judicial
branch of the federal government. Theme: Separation of
powers among the three branches of government; checks
Collision Course – Part I
When an avowed anti-immigrant extremist plans to speak at a rally, the
city must grapple with some difficult freedom-of-speech
issues. Theme: Freedom of expression and immigration.
Collision Course - Part II
A law firm headed by two immigrants is divided over prospects of
representing someone who espouses extreme anti-immigrant
sentiments. Theme: Freedom of speech; equal protection
under the law.
A Delicate Balance
An investigative reporter gains information
that could lead to the conviction of an accused rapist,
but only if the reporter is willing to divulge the
source of her information. Theme: Freedom of the press.
Rules of the Game
Following the drug-related death of a high school
student, local law enforcement officials take
questionable measures to bring
those responsible to justice. Theme: Due process of law
and limited government.
Sticks and Stones – Part I
An immigrant businessman who has been physically
assaulted by a member of an influential family seeks
justice from the legal system. Theme: Right to privacy
and criminal due process.
Sticks and Stones – Part II
When a young man from a wealthy family goes on
trial for assault, the truth emerges from an unlikely
source. Theme: The judicial system.
A House Divided
The race for a City Council seat causes deep
divisions, especially among black residents of the
district. Theme: Popular sovereignty; the right to vote,
hold office and participate in the political process.
Fall from Grace – Part I
Flagrant abuses in an inner city apartment building lead
to charges of corruption in City Hall. Theme: Limited
government and consent of the governed.
Fall from Grace – Part II
As facts about the deplorable conditions in an inner
city apartment become public, citizens organize in
opposition to the city council member who owns the
property. Theme: The contract of trust between elected
officials and voters.
Community tensions run high when an immigrant’s
controversial small business ignites the anger of
neighboring business owners. Theme: Economic rights.
While the city is embroiled in a civil rights
controversy involving city hall maintenance workers, a
TV news anchor fights a civil rights battle of her own.
Theme: Diversity, civil liberties and equal rights.