The Day Joshua Wong Spoke to the Students in my U.S. History Class

Via video conferencing technology

Joshua Wong is the Hong Kong student-activist most noted for having been the leader of a pro-democracy movement that brought nearly a quarter million pro-democracy protestors to the streets of Hong Kong from September 26 to December 15, 2014 when he was merely 18 years old.

On July 26, 2016, Joshua Wong spoke with the students enrolled in my summer school US History class via Zoom video conferencing technology.

To get in touch with Joshua, my students turned to Twitter.

They messaged Joshua via Twitter, which in turn led to Joshua providing us with his email address (, which in turn led to Joshua agreeing to video conference with my students.

Here are ten of the better questions my students created:

The video conference looked like this:

The picture above is of one of my students asking Joshua if he was at all worried about being arrested for his pro-democracy stance.

Just a few days after the video conference, Joshua was arrested, with the arrest having looked like this:

Two months after that, on August 16, Joshua went to jail.

Another two months after that, on October 24, Joshua was released, after which he posted this picture to Twitter:

After I finished lecturing on the life of Thomas Jefferson and how his Declaration of Independence should be viewed as our country’s first major step in the direction of our much cherished democracy, I shared with my class the map below, with this map showing the countries that today can be deemed as enjoying some form of democracy.

I then detailed Joshua Wong’s personal story and the 2014 student protest that he is known for having led.

The protest looked like this:

I then mentioned how Joshua’s prominent role during the 2014 protest (aka The Umbrella Movement) and his major influence on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement resulted in his inclusion in TIME Magazine’s List of Most Influential Teens of 2014 and how it also led to his having been nominated for a Time’s Person of the Year 2014 Award.

To conclude, I asked the students whether they thought Joshua should/could be viewed as China’s modern-day Thomas Jefferson. To that one of my students said “I wonder what Joshua would say about that?”

“Great question,” I said. “Want to ask him yourself?”

And that’s when the students in my class turned to Twitter in search of his contact information.

High school APUSH teacher with much in-class and online teaching experience. Also a blogger, keynote speaker, editor, podcast host, and conference presenter.