I used this unit in my advanced courses; however, it can be adapted to allow all students to learn the important role of writing in advocating for those without a voice. This is a four part research project that requires students to research a humanitarian issue, make connections with literature, and write to a representative urging specific action. Students pick their humanitarian cause before Winter Break, and they continue to work on it throughout the semester independently. I typically use a scoring rubric suitable for expository writing.
This would make a good interdisciplinary project to complete with your Social Sciences colleagues to help students better understand current events.