Current News

Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets to Change Hands


In this 10th anniversary since the founding of Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Streets NW in D.C. with Teaching for Change as the partner on the bookstore, both organizations are poised to celebrate anniversaries, expand, and make a major transition. “Teaching for Change is celebrating ten years of our partnership with Busboys and Poets and the 25th anniversary of our founding. As our national teacher and parent programs expand and the Busboys and Poets locations… Read more.

A Gift for Ellington: The Books We’ve Read


By Clarence Lusane

As a young child I became a voracious reader. I don’t remember a time when my mother did not read to me. Then she and I began to make weekly trips to the library as I got older. It was the best time of the week bar none. Finally, I grew old enough to go by myself which I did frequently. While I remember reading lots of books, I don’t remember exactly which books I read. I do remember the feeling that books gave me. Read more.

Two Dollar Subscription to Black History Journal Leads to Life of Activism


By Timothy L. Jenkins

Since I had been the principal lobbyist for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) back in the day, I was recently interviewed by a Washington Post reporter writing about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. I had also testified about the legislation while I was in law school. The reporter asked, “how did you first learn about and take an interest in Civil Rights?” My immediate answer was, “when a school-teacher aunt… Read more.

Bring Lessons of Selma to the Classroom


We need your help so that students can learn and apply the lessons from the bottom-up history of the Selma Voting Rights Movement to their lives and struggles for justice today.

With the release of the film Selma on this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, there is great interest in this pivotal story from the Civil Rights Movement. Read more.

The Selma Voting Rights Struggle: 15 Key Points from Bottom-Up History and Why It Matters Today


On this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act it helped inspire, national attention is centered on the iconic images of “Bloody Sunday,” the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the interracial marchers, and President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act. This version of history, emphasizing a top-down narrative and isolated events, reinforces the master narrative which civil rights activists describe as, “Rosa sat down… Read more.

Teaching for Change in 2014


This has been a year of mourningresistance, and hope.

We mourned for the lives of so many people of color killed by the police with no impunity. And we were inspired by the resistance that started in #Ferguson and has become a national #BlackLivesMatter movement. In 2014, we also faced an attack by Rush Limbaugh and were inspired by the testimonials affirming the value of our promotion of children’s books by and about people of color. We helped expose the Koch Brothers sneaking… Read more.

Bookstore Highlights 2014


Here are some highlights from the year 2014 at Teaching for Change’s indie bookstore at Busboys and Poets (14th&V). Next year we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bookstore and the 25th anniversary of Teaching for Change. Read more.

Schomburg Education Institute 2014 Black History 360


Teaching for Change presented in July of 2014 for the second year at the Schomburg Center Black History 360 Teacher Institute. Summer intern Sarah Slichter attended for the full week. Here is her report on the first afternoon (with Dr. Yohuru Williams on Teaching Segregation in America and Dr. Khalil G. Muhammad on Reparations) and the day of the Teaching for Change seminar on Freedom Schools and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.Read more.

Central America Workshop in Mt. Rainier


On Saturday, teachers, parents, and other community members in Mount Rainier, Maryland stepped into the shoes of key people in Central American history and literature. This pre-viewing activity was for a community screening of the film Harvest of Empire, led by Teaching for Change curriculum specialist Julian Hipkins III at Joe’s Movement Emporium. The film was selected to allow greater understanding about immigration issues and was followed by a discussion with… Read more.

Board Member Annual House Party Raises Friends and Funds


When Kate Tindle first joined the Teaching for Change board in 2000, there was no doubt that her experience in education would be very helpful for planning and organizational governance. But she was not so sure about the fundraising duties of board members.

Now, fourteen years later, Kate has developed an approach to fundraising that promotes the work of Teaching for Change, is in line with our mission, and raises close to $4,000 a year! Read more.

Bringing Freedom Summer to Students in Starkville


“I’d only heard of Medgar Evers. I did not know the names and stories of so many other Civil Rights Movement activists in Mississippi,” said one the dozens of teachers in workshops offered by Teaching for Change curriculum specialist Julian Hipkins III and Freedom Summer volunteer Mark Levy in Starkville, Mississippi last week. Read more.

Mississippi Teachers Selected for Fellowship


Teaching for Change is pleased to announce that sixteen Mississippi middle and high school teachers have been selected for a teacher fellowship program on Mississippi history with a focus on the Civil Rights Movement and labor.

The purpose of this fellowship is to build a sustainable statewide learning community of classroom language arts, social studies, and history teachers in grades 6–12 for teaching hands-on, inquiry based U.S. history through the lens of race and class in Mississippi history. Read more.

This Changes Everything Curriculum Writing Retreat


The Zinn Education Project (a project of  Teaching for Change and Rethinking Schools) is partnering with This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. This “multi-platform” project includes the new book by Naomi Klein (No Logo, The Shock Doctrine), a feature documentary inspired by the book, and an ambitious outreach strategy to share the ideas behind these works with educators and activists, starting in Fall 2014. The team behind This Changes Everything understands the central role that education will play in enlisting students in the work of exploring the roots of the climate crisis, considering possible solutions, and coming to see themselves as climate justice activists. Read more.

Yale Law School Merit Awards a “Travesty of the Highest Order”


“It is a travesty of the highest order to honor as ‘meritorious’ those who openly and notoriously trample the Constitution,” said Yale Law School alum Timothy L. Jenkins (’64) in response to Yale’s Award of Merit for Clarence Thomas (’74) and Samuel A. Alito Jr. (’75). A veteran of the Civil Rights Movement and Teaching for Change board member, Jenkins expressed his dismay in a letter to the University fundraising committee this week. Jenkins’ letter (below) can serve… Read more.

Hurston/Wright Foundation 13th Annual Legacy Award Winners


The Hurston/Wright Foundation has announced the winners for the 2014 Legacy Awards in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry at the 13th annual Legacy Award Ceremony. The Legacy Awards have recognized literary and arts achievement in the black diaspora for almost a quarter century. The award winners are listed below. We also recommend reviewing the list of all the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominees. It is a stellar list of books and authors. Teaching for Change was honored to partner with the Hurston/Wright Foundation by making all the authors’ books available for purchase and signing at the awards ceremony. Read more.

Victory in Ward 8: Orr Parents Organize for New Building and New Leadership


Laila Patrick held her breath in anticipation, waiting to hear her name called as her two children played on the floor nearby. Ms. Patrick sat with her muscles tensed, at the edge of her seat, with her mother supportively sitting in the chair beside her. “She’s talking about me!” Ms. Patrick whispered to her mother as the event host shared the story of her role in the parent activism that earned her children’s school two major victories last school year – funding for a new building, and…  Read more.

Welcome Back Breakfast: Parents and Staff Meet and Greet


Do you remember those long evenings, seated in the auditorium at Back to School Night? Were you struggling to keep from nodding off while one school administrator after another took the stage to tell you all you need to know about the school rules and expectations? By the end of the evening, school staff and parents alike are tired and frustrated. In schools across the country, this is the first and only introduction for parents to the school community. Read more.

Meyer Foundation Spotlights Teaching for Change’s Storytelling  Efforts


In a recently released report, the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation celebrated efforts by Teaching for Change to expand the impact of our parent engagement work through storytelling. Sharing stories is an integral part of Tellin’ Stories, Teaching for Change’s parent engagement approach, but it had not been a core piece of the organization’s communications strategy. After attending a training series offered by the Meyer Foundation, associate director Allyson Criner Brown found… Read more.

For Love of Children Book Festival


Teaching for Change is pleased to partner with the D.C area afterschool program called For Love of Children (FLOC). FLOC runs a Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Scholars Program, and Outdoor Education Center. As a result of active participation in FLOC programs, students gain an average of one year of grade level equivalency in reading skills in just four months. On November 15, 2014, For Love of Children (FLOC) is hosting their Eighth Annual Book Festival for FLOC students… Read more.

Charles McDew: “Why The Others Died”

Charles McDew describes the terror of imprisonment and threats to the lives of Civil Rights Movement activists and others during the freedom struggle in a Moth Radio Hour story, “Why The Others Died” (9/30/2014). In the conclusion to his chilling and tragic story, he notes, “It gave me to understand that it is not a struggle of black people or white people dominating black people; it is a struggle of people without power being exploited, run over, and destroyed.” Read more.

Hurston/Wright Foundation 13th Annual Legacy Award


The Hurston/Wright Foundation has announced the nominations for the 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. A winner and two finalists in each category will be honored at the 13th annual Legacy Award Ceremony on Friday, October 24, at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. Wil Haygood, award-winning biographer and journalist, will serve as master of ceremonies and the program will also feature special guest Nikki Giovanni, the author of… Read more.

Family Partner Series Offers D.C. Schools a Fresh Start on Family Engagement


This year, bilingual school counselor Senovia Hurtado has been entrusted with the mission of revitalizing family engagement at Brightwood Education Campus (DCPS), a pre-K through eighth grade school in Washington, D.C. It’s her 15th year in DC Public Schools, but her first as a parent coordinator. With a reopened parent center, a supportive principal and colleagues, and a partnership with Teaching for Change, Hurtado is poised to make Brightwood a school that is open and inviting to parents. Read more.

Sponsor a Bookshelf at the Teaching for Change Bookstore


Teaching for Change’s Bookstore is the Washington, D.C. area’s best source for books that encourage children and adults to question, challenge, and re-think the world beyond the headlines. The bookstore is located in Busboys and Poets 
(14th and V Streets NW), a restaurant, performance space, and coffeehouse, which features a dynamic events schedule. Teaching for Change needs donations and sponsorships (tax-deductible) to keep the bookstore in operation, curate the… Read more.

Revisiting Our Black Mosaic Symposium


On September 19, the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) hosted the symposium: “Revisiting Our Black Mosaic.” We are honored to have been invited to the participate in this 20th anniversary of the 1994 Black Mosaic exhibition, described below: The progressive 1994 exhibition Black Mosaic at the Anacostia Community Museum was among the first documentation projects to examine the perceptions and realities of race, nationality, and ethnicity of black urban immigrants. Read more.

New Website for Students on Central America


Our colleague Pat Goudvis has launched an extraordinary new student-friendly website on Central America called When We Were Young, There Was a War. Visitors are introduced to the powerful stories of two individuals from El Salvador and Guatemala. (Eventually there will be more.) Through short video clips, they describe the impact of the war on their lives when they were children and today. The website builds on a documentary film Goudvis made 20 years ago called… Read more.

Equipping New Teachers with Social Justice Literature


Alice Cook wanted to introduce her pre-service teachers to culturally responsive and social justice teacher resources, including literature and curriculum for their classes, materials on best practices in education, and books about the interaction between teacher identity and student diversity. Cook was teaching a core diversity course in their master’s certification program (MCERT) at the University of Maryland, College Park. As a part of the course, Cook invited two Teaching for Change staff… Read more.

Teacher Workshop on Central America

While the histories of the United States and Central America have been intertwined for centuries, Central American history has been missing from the school curriculum for many years. Therefore, before asking teachers to infuse Central American history in their own classrooms, we recommend that schools host teacher workshops to familiarize the staff with Central American historical figures and themes. Teaching for Change staff are available to offer professional… Read more.

Girl Scout Book Drive Exceeds Its Goal

Our Teaching for Change Bookstore and Girl Scout Troop 3859 (Saint Augustine Catholic Church) hosted a book drive on September 12-14 in support of Saint Augustine SchoolNew Community for ChildrenMarguerite’s Place, and Playtime Children’s Project. Troop leader Dena D. Grant wrote to our publications director Don Allen to say it was a big success. Here’s an excerpt from her letter: Please accept our sincere appreciation for your time, support and dedication to Troop 3859’s Fall Book Drive… Read more.

Exploring Immigration and Identity in the K-12 Classroom with Américas Award Books


In celebration of the 2014 Américas Award, CLASP and Teaching for Change are hosting a K-12 teacher workshop “Exploring Immigration and Identity in the K-12 Classroom with Américas Award Books.” This hands-on workshop will explore issues of immigration and identity using children’s literature. The workshop will feature the work of this year’s Honorable Mention book, Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by Duncan Tonatiuh and Commended Title Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by… Read more.

Matt Herron and Dorie Ladner Remember the Mississippi Freedom Movement

On July 24, 2014, photographer Matt Herron and SNCC veteran Dorie Ladner shared photos and stories about the 1960s Freedom Movement in Mississippi. Askia Muhammad from WPFW moderated. The featured books were Mississippi Eyes and This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement from the University Press of Mississippi. There was a full house for the event hosted by Teaching for Change and Busboys and Poets with co-sponsors… Read more.

Middle Passage Markers Project: Invitation to Teachers and Students

Millions of the people who were kidnapped from Africa and brought to the United States in bondage remain nameless. Not only those whose bones lie at the bottom of the Atlantic, but even those who lived and labored for generations in the United States and throughout the Americas. These unnamed individuals contributed greatly to the culture, knowledge, and development of the United States – yet they are made invisible or simply listed by numbers at historic sites. Read more.

Reactions to Teaching About Ferguson

Teaching for Change’s article “Teaching About Ferguson” (August 21, 2014) by Julian Hipkins III has received rave reviews and attacks. The article offers ideas and resources for the classroom to help students think critically about the events in Ferguson by providing historical context and ways to be proactive in their own communities. We are honored that the journals The, Teaching Tolerance, Rethinking Schools, and The Atlantic included links to our article in their… Read more.

Teachers Get to Know the Neighborhood in Community Walk

Teachers, staff, and parents of Orr Elementary (DCPS) began the school year with a community walk of the neighborhood surrounding the school. Orr Elementary partners with Teaching for Change to implement the Tellin’ Stories approach to parent engagement. Many community members took note of the teachers walking the neighborhood and greeted the group. As they walked, many of the teachers saw parents, students, and siblings… Read more.

Jose Luis Vilson Book Party

On September 25, meet José Luis Vilson and learn about his publication from Haymarket Books, This Is Not a Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education. In this collection of multifaceted essays, Vilson provokes discussion on issues of race, gentrification, and the teaching profession from the eyes of a black-Latino educator. Read more.


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