Current News

Teaching for Change 2016 Summer Reading and Writing Challenge

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Teaching for Change challenges young people to read as many books as they can over the summer – especially multicultural and social justice books. We also encourage young people and their caregivers to examine the representation of Native Americans and people of color in the Scholastic catalog. Share our resources for examining books through the lens of critical literacy, and this summer set a goal to submit a letter to the #StepUpScholastic campaign. Read more.


Enid Lee in D.C. for Teaching for Change Fellowship

Nationally renowned educator Enid Lee will be in D.C. for the month of July as a Teaching for Change fellow.While in D.C., Enid will confer with Teaching for Change staff and board about our programs, contribute to the new editions of Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching and Beyond Heroes and Holidays, prepare blog posts on key issues in education and current events, and speak at a number of events. Read more.

Join us for 25 Live: A Teaching for Change Celebration

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We invite you to join Teaching for Change on June 29, 2016 in D.C. for fun, food, and fellowship as we celebrate our 25th anniversary and honor key allies. Read more.


Teaching for Change to Develop Rosenwald Teaching Guide

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Teaching for Change has been invited by the Rosenwald filmmaker to develop a teaching guide for the documentary. The little known history of Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Fund provides an excellent opportunity to explore a number of key themes in U.S. history including the purpose and funding of public education, the Great Migration, Red Summer, the politics of housing, philanthropy, and much more. Read more.


What Happened to the Civil Rights Movement After 1965? Don’t Ask Your Textbook

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Fifty years ago, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee chairperson Stokely Carmichael made the famous call for “Black Power.” Carmichael’s speech came in the midst of the “March Against Fear,” a walk from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, Mississippi, to encourage African Americans to use their newly won right to vote. But while almost every middle and high school student learns about the Civil Rights Movement, they rarely learn about this march—or the related struggles that continued long after the Voting Rights Act. Read more.


Thank You Julian Hipkins III

 Julian Hipkins III at the Schomburg 360 workshop on the MFDP.
In his two years at Teaching for Change, Julian Hipkins III made a tremendous impact on our work in D.C., Mississippi, and across the country. An award-winning U.S. history teacher, Hipkins brought with him experience in teaching people’s history, a love of go-go, years of coaching students for National History Day competitions, and a deep interest in D.C. history. Read more.


Go-Go Performers Coach Next Generation in D.C. Classrooms

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What an experience to see renowned go-go musicians coaching and mentoring students in D.C. classrooms. Students perform with expert guidance, ask questions, and wear out the performers with requests for photos and autographs before they left. Meanwhile, the go-go performers leave with new-found respect for the dedication and hard work of classroom music teachers. The visits began in June and continue through the end of September as part of a special initiative… Read more.


Filmfest DC 2016 Goes to D.C. Classrooms

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On this fifth year of Teaching for Change’s partnership with Filmfest DC: The Washington, DC International Film Festival, we brought five of the films to D.C. classrooms in April of 2016. Read more.


History Lesson Sheds Light on Racism Today

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“The Color Line” lesson by Rethinking Schools editor Bill Bigelow is featured in a Washington Post article, “How American oligarchs created the concept of race to divide and conquer the poor” by Courtland Milloy Jr. The lesson is on colonial laws enacted to create division and inequality based on race. History teacher and Teaching for Change staff member Julian Hipkins III was interviewed for the article. Read more.


We Want to Hear from YOU: Survey on Civil Rights Teaching

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Teaching for Change is working with partner organizations to develop and share more resources for teaching about the Civil Rights Movement. These lessons and primary documents will be made available online for free for classroom teachers and students. To inform this effort, Teaching for Change is conducting a survey on teaching about the Civil Rights Movement, including commonly used resources, time periods, purpose, and challenges. Read more.


D.C. Parent Organizing Featured in 2016 AERA Conference Offsite Visits

D.C. Parent Organizing Featured in 2016 AERA Conference Offsite Visits

Teaching for Change partnered twice with local researchers and education organizers to give AERA conference attendees a glimpse of the parent organizing and family engagement work happening locally. Teaching for Change placed family engagement in the broader context of gentrification in D.C. during the AERA offsite session,  “Fighting for the Right to the City.” Read more.


StepUpScholastic for ALL Children

More than 50% of the children enrolled in public schools are people of color or Native American, but only 14% of children’s books published in 2014 were by or about people of color. Unfortunately, Scholastic’s catalog is no exception. Join us in the #StepUpScholastic for ALL children campaign. Write a letter today. Read more.


Climate Justice Teacher Workshop in D.C.

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While the climate crisis threatens the lives of millions of people around the world, it gets scant mention in textbooks. More than 30 DC area elementary and high school teachers spent a day of their own time learning how to teach this hidden history and current reality. They attended a workshop on Saturday, April 9, 2016, facilitated by Rethinking Schools curriculum editor Bill Bigelow and co-hosted by Teaching for Change and the Zinn Education Project with funding from the Lannan Foundation. Read more.


Why Are All the Kids Who Look Like Me Enslaved?

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Teaching for Change is partnering with American Indians in Children’s Literature and Ferguson Response Network to collect letters to Scholastic telling them to publish and distribute children’s books that reflect and affirm the identity, history, and lives of ALL children in our schools. We have received thoughtful letters from all over the country. Read more.


2016 Food Justice Youth Summit

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On April 7, 2016, 11th graders at Capital City Public Charter School hosted the 2nd Annual Food Justice Youth Summit to build awareness about food justice issues, both nationally and locally, at Friends Meeting House of Washington. This year’s event featured keynote speaker, Lauren Nixon, a food and wellness educator, and more than 20 student-led sessions on topics ranging from GMOs and food labels, to factory farming and the intersection of food and race, with such creative titles as “Don’t Eat it! Just Beat it!” and “Can You Taste the GMO?” Read more.


How Parent Volunteers Inspired a Young Reader

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On the first day of Roving Readers, Brian sat at the back with Ms. Prater as the parents and caregivers took their seats in a long row on the reading carpet. By then his literacy skills were improving, but his interest remained low. He watched as each of the parents opened up copies of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type/Clic Clac Muu Vacas Escritoras and took turns reading in English and in Spanish. He moved from the back of the carpet where we were sitting, all the way up front so he was sitting right at their feet. Read more.


A Tribute to Dr. Marta Palacios

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As a mother and grandmother, an immigrant, and a champion of bilingual education, Dr. Palacios has worked tirelessly all her life to advance education and social justice. Teaching for Change joins the Bruce Monroe Elementary at Park View (BMPV) community in honoring the life and legacy of educator Dr. Marta Palacios. For nearly a decade, we have had the honor of collaborating with Palacios on parent organizing. Read more.


Schools Welcome Parents as Partners with Academic Classroom Visits

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Parents are welcomed to the school and receive an overview of what their kids are learning and what they should expect to see when visiting the classroom. After observing a typical lesson, parents are invited to comment on what they notice and ask questions. By giving family members a window into classroom life and an opportunity to offer feedback, Academic Classroom Visits build trust, communication, and shared understanding between families and the school, building partnerships that promote students’ academic achievement. Read more.


New Edition of Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching

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Teaching for Change will publish a new edition of the award-winning Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching this year.The content will be completely re-organized and much of the material will be new. We are currently making our final selections for the book, and we are soliciting lessons and teaching activities. Read more.


Women’s History Month: A Book Every Day

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In honor of Women’s History Month, each day Teaching for Change will feature a children’s book we recommend to highlight grassroots women’s history. Check back for our recommended titles, and follow us on Facebook for daily posts. Read more.


#StepUpScholastic for ALL Children Flier

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The #StepUpScholastic campaign is off to a great start with hundreds of letters coming in from all over the U.S. We encourage you to read selected letters and then write your own. We share with you a flier for teachers and parents to promote the #StepUpScholastic campaign in schools. Read more.


 

Natalie Hopkinson’s Wisdom About Writing

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Natalie Hopkinson was the featured guest presenter for the March session of Stories from Our Classrooms, a course for D.C. area social justice teachers who are writing for publication. Hopkinson, a talented writer who addresses issues of race, culture, and education, spoke about her own experiences as a writer and getting published. Teachers asked questions about everything from capitalization norms to how to write the truth about a system that one is part of. Read more.


Special D.C. History Guest at E.L. Haynes

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World famous after her visit to the White House for the 2016 Black History Month reception, Ms. Virginia McLaurin spoke with D.C. history classes at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School on March 16, 2016. McLaurin was born in South Carolina and came to D.C. during the Great Migration. Read more.


 

#StepUpScholastic Twitter Chat

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On February 29, Leslie Mac of Ferguson Response Network hosted a twitter chat on the #StepUpScholastic campaign. There was a rich and lively exchange among educators, parents, authors, and other activists as they weighed in on a series of questions about the campaign. Questions ranged from “why target Scholastic” to “what person(s) or moment(s) from your history or culture do you want to see in a Scholastic flyer?” Read more.


Anacostia Museum Workshop on Go-Go

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On Friday, February 12, twenty teachers took part in a workshop on go-go at the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and toured the new exhibit Twelve Years that Shook and Shaped Washington, 1963-1975 on February 12, 2016. Led by Teaching for Change staff Julian Hipkins III and Deborah Menkart, participants experienced the go-go lessons available online for teachers to download. Read more.


“It Was Like a Visit from the President”: Timothy Jenkins Talks to 5th Graders

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Rachel Hull’s 5th graders were studying the founding of the United States from various perspectives in a unit called “Know Your Rights.” Through their analysis of primary sources and research, they began to uncover a version of history that was missing from their textbooks. To deepen their knowledge, they invited Teaching for Change board member Timothy Jenkins as a guest speaker. Read more.


Virginia McLaurin: Making History All Her Life

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Many of you have seen the video of Ms. Virginia McLaurin dancing and talking with the Obamas at the White House. It was moving to see her dream of meeting the first Black president come true. Ms. McLaurin’s invitation to the White House’s 2016 Black History Month reception came after Teaching for Change‘s executive director, Deborah Menkart, alerted colleagues at the White House that at 106 years old, Ms. McLaurin volunteers 40 hours a week in special education and early childhood classrooms. Read more.


The City Formerly Known as (FKA) Chocolate

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This Black History Month, mother-daughter team and second and third generation Washingtonians Leah Imani View Danville and Dr. Jenice L. View have teamed up to pay homage to the city formerly known as Chocolate City. Ten percent of the proceeds from the t-shirts will support Teaching for Change. Read more.


Hoodies Up! #BlackLivesMatter in the Classroom

On February 5, 2016, Julian Hipkins III of Teaching for Change participated in a Skype video conference with students in the Mock Trial classes at Roosevelt High School in Portland, Oregon as part of “Hoodies-Up Day,” organized by students to seek solidarity in their stand to end systemic racism and racial profiling. Read more.


Teaching for Change on Kojo Nnamdi Show

We are honored to have been invited by the Kojo Nnamdi Show (WAMU 88.5) for a segment on Monday, February 8, 2016 on the walkout by students in Howard County last week in protest of racism at their high school. Read more.


Teaching for Change on NPR’s All Things Considered

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Teaching for Change associate director Allyson Criner Brown was interviewed by NPR’s Eyder Peralta, along with scholar Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and children’s book author Matt de la Peña in a four minute segment on the recall of A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Read more.


Considerations for Early Childhood and Early Elementary Educators on Slavery and Resistance

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The recent successful grassroots campaign that resulted in the recall of the children’s book A Birthday Cake for George Washington has brought more people into the conversation about how and when to talk to young children about the history of enslavement of Africans in the United States. To support and deepen this important conversation, we share with you key articles for reflection followed by suggested books for children and adults. Read more.


Howard County Students Speak Out

Students at Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City, Md., walked out of school on Tuesday, Feb. 2 after a student video disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement went viral. (Donna St. George/The Washington Post)

Students at Mount Hebron High School in Howard County, Maryland walked out of school on Feb. 2 after a student video with a racist message was shared on social media. We share here the speech given during the walkout by one of the students. Read more.


Bad Advice from NPR’s Weekend Edition on Racist Children’s Books

It was bad enough that Scholastic published a book with happy slaves baking a cake for their owner (George Washington) in 2016—now NPR’s Weekend Edition recommends that parents read racist books to their children. Granted, they meant critically. Here are a few of the problematic recommendations and assumptions in the Weekend Edition story. Read more.


Parent Advocacy Wins Six New After School Positions

Ms. Merino was one of the Latino parents seated at the table on November 24, 2015, for a meeting with the director of DCPS’s Out of School Time Programs, Margareth Legaspi. Amy Meija, the co-president of the grassroots parents organization Parents and Teachers United for BMPV (PTU), and other parent leaders repeatedly requested a meeting with Ms. Legaspi to address a top concern at their school: the waiting list of 75 students for an understaffed after school program. Read more.


Parent Organizing in the News

Teaching for Change’s nationally recognized family engagement project, Tellin’ Stories, added new accolades in 2015 with featured stories in Education Week and ThinkProgress. Read more.


Principal Chit Chats Boost School Success

It was the first Principal Coffee of the year at Thomson, a fourth-year Tellin’ Stories partner school located in downtown Washington, D.C. The monthly coffees are Thomson’s version of Parent-Principal Chit Chats, a signature activity of the Tellin’ Stories approach to family engagement. The chats strengthen the link between home and school, and foster relationship building among parents, and between parents and the principal. Read more.


Early Steps for a Parent Leader

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Ms. Rodriguez met with Teaching for Change parent organizers, the parent coordinator, and two other parent leaders – one from the Caribbean and the other from Ethiopia – to plan the upcoming Welcome Back Breakfast for parents. With Teaching for Change’s approach, parent leaders are encouraged to take part in the planning of family engagement activities and not just attend as participants. Ms. Rodriguez was one of the parents who stepped up early in the year, before most activities even began. Read more.


Under Pressure, Scholastic Recalls Racist Children’s Book

A firestorm erupted when Scholastic released a children’s book early this month, A Birthday Cake for George Washington, by Ramin Ganeshram and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, featuring smiling enslaved people baking a cake for George Washington. It was not until a grassroots campaign by librarians, social justice organizations, #BlackLivesMatter activists, journalists, and others that Scholastic took the extraordinary step of recalling the book. Read more.


NOT Recommended: A Birthday Cake for George Washington

A Birthday Cake for George Washington, recently published by Scholastic, left us at Teaching for Change, and many others furious and incredulous that this children’s book was published in 2016. A book about Hercules as the first celebrity chef in the U.S. could be a welcome title in a landscape that lacks sufficient quality books by and about people of color, much less about slavery. But the story and illustrations in Birthday Cake are a step backward, not forward. Read more.


Vernon F. Dahmer: Civil Rights Martyr and American Hero

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Vernon Dahmer was a civil rights leader, community leader, and businessman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In the early hours of January 10, 1966, members of the Ku Klux Klan shot into and firebombed the home he shared with his wife and children in the Kelly Settlement section of Hattiesburg. It occurred soon after he announced on local radio that he would pay the poll taxes for those who could not afford them. Read more.


Teaching Eyes on the Prize

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Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1985 will be rebroadcast in full this spring. Teaching for Change highly recommends the film series and companion resources for teachers and students to learn about the truths of this historical period and the organized struggle for racial, social, and economic justice. We share classroom resources tied to the Eyes on the Prize series and a webinar announcement. Read more.


Who Killed Sammy Younge Jr.? SNCC, Vietnam, and the Fight for Racial Justice

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This week marks the 50th anniversary of the murder of Sammy Younge Jr. (January 3, 1966) and a powerful statement of protest against the Vietnam War issued three days later by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The statement called out the hypocrisy of the U.S. government, which claimed to wage a war for democracy overseas at the same moment it was also waging war against those fighting for democracy in the United States. Read more.


Rick Reinhard: Movement Photographer

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Rick Reinhard’s powerful images have supported movements for liberation in El Salvador, environmental justice, anti-war, labor, immigrant rights, civil rights, ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, electoral campaigns, anti-apartheid, and much more. Read more.


Fight the Miseducation of the American People

Like you, we are outraged by the crises in the world today and the responses fueled by ignorance and hatred. We are proud of the many ways we help students learn the truth about history and their vital role as informed and active citizens. Next year, with your help, we will provide teachers with new tools to teach about the history of race, racism, and resistance through the history of the Civil Rights Movement. These lessons will help students recognize the long history of the struggle to make #BlackLivesMatter and be prepared to resist the divide and conquer tactics of today. Read more.


More Teachers Than Ever Teach People’s History

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The Zinn Education Project, a joint project of Teaching for Change and Rethinking Schools, now has more than 55,500 teachers who have signed up to download our free “teaching outside the textbook” materials. Our lessons, resource guides, and other materials had enormous impact in 2015. Read more.


Teaching for Change in 2015

As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we are pleased to share highlights from Teaching for Change’s work in 2015. This is just a small window into our accomplishments. Our success is made possible by the ongoing support of allies like you. Help us deepen our impact by sharing these stories (as well as our resources for parents and teachers) as we continue building social justice, starting in the classroom. Read more.


Why Are They Coming?: Uncovering History of Central America

“If we don’t know their history, then we can’t understand why they are leaving their homes to come to the U.S.” Every workshop offered by Teaching for Change staff begins with the question, “How many Central Americans of note–from history or today–can you name?” Even in schools with majority Central American students, no one names more than one. How can teachers understand why families are fleeing the region, or teach the refugee students about their history, if they don’t know it themselves? Read more.


Closed for Learning: The Impact of School Closures on Students and Communities

On December 10, the Journey for Justice Alliance held a Congressional briefing with two panel discussions called Closed for Learning: The Impact of School Closures on Students and Communities. The first panel focused on the negative effect the closing of neighborhood schools have on the community. He referenced the report, Death by a Thousand Cuts. The second panel addressed the current practice of relying on charter schools as an alternative to public schools. This panel later turned to viable solutions such community schools. Read more.


Hands-On Introduction to Beyond Heroes and Holidays for ACPS

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Our challenge was to introduce 35 educators to their new copies of Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development in 75 minutes. Here is how we approached this short introduction to a hefty book and deep topic. Read more.


Learn the Hidden History of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Students from preschool through high school learn that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in Montgomery, the buses were desegregated, and the Civil Rights Movement was launched. This quiz explores some of the myths surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and provides an opportunity to learn about the strategic brilliance and courage of the African American community in Montgomery. Read more.

How Well Do You Know D.C.?

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When most people think of Washington, D.C., they think of monuments, museums, and the federal government. Often overlooked is the local city, long shaped by issues of race, class, and colonial status. Take our quiz and find out how well you know the real D.C. Read more.


National Cathedral School Community Supports Teaching for Change

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Students, staff, parents, and friends of the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. gathered in late September for a service based on Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming. Jane Simchak, a teacher in the Lower School, spoke about the book and in particular the theme of her grandfather’s garden and growth that comes in all aspects of our lives. The offertory for the service was collected on behalf of Teaching for Change. Read more.


D.C. Teachers Launch Stories from Our Classrooms

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Fourteen D.C. area teachers gathered last Sunday to write stories from their classrooms. This was the first session in a year-long course launched by Teaching for Change. As a result of writing and reflecting together, teacher participants will deepen their own practice, build community among D.C. area social justice educators, and contribute to the all-too-scarce collection of published descriptions of classroom practice by teachers themselves. Read more.


Thank You to Our Teach the Beat Donors

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Through the generous support of individual donors, Teaching for Change will continue to bring go-go into D.C. area classrooms. From June through September, Teaching for Change brought go-go performers and scholars to provide in-school coaching to students as part of a special grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. In September, we asked for individual contributions to help us continue this exciting program through the fall and beyond—and you responded! Read more.


Debut Book Author Commits Proceeds to Teaching for Change

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Debut young adult author Rebecca Villarreal has committed five percent of all net proceeds of her first book, The Amazing Adventures of Selma Calderón, (Mama Chelo Press, 2015) to Teaching for Change. Released in August, the book tells the story of two fifth graders – Selma Calderón and her best friend Hurley Bingenworth – as they use magical powers to travel the world and unravel the mystery of her missing parents while eating their favorite foods along the way. The duo is also challenged to find non-magical… Read more.


New Multicultural Children’s Books

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This year we are pleasantly surprised to find more than the usual handful of new children’s books to recommend. There continues to be a critical scarcity of good children’s books by and about people of color, so we are happy to shine a light on these books that challenge the norm. Read more.


Mississippi Teacher Fellows Host Workshops Across the State

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“I want to bring these lessons on teaching about the Civil Rights Movement to teachers in my school district.” Raymond Brookter’s sentiment was echoed by all the participants in our summer institute for Mississippi teacher fellows. On top of their full course load, these teachers rolled up their sleeves and made that vision a reality. In early September, teacher fellows in Kosciusko, Laurel, and Hattiesburg organized full-day workshops for teachers and/or students in their respective school districts. Read more.


Ta-Nehisi Coates on Teaching History

On October 15, 2015, Teaching for Change staff member Julian Hipkins III had the opportunity to ask Ta-Nehisi Coates about how to teach students the truth “about white supremacy” without discouraging them and to let them know they can do “something to fight back against white supremacy and have hope for the future.” Coates’ response provides a powerful history lesson… Read more.


Preserving and Teaching Black History

During this powerful interview, Jenkins talks about the history of Howard University, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), pan-Africanism, liberatory education, the Association for the Study of African American Life and Culture (ASALH), Black history as American history, Stokely Carmichael, lessons from the barbershop, revolutionary nonviolence, and much more. Jenkins explains that in order to ensure that the next generation has access to the narratives of Black history… Read more.


House Parties Celebrate 25 Years of Teaching for Change

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Fundraising has never been so much fun! Marrianne McMullen and Jeff Epton, along with their neighbor Andrea Vincent, invited people to their home in Brookland on September 20 for the first in our fall series of 25th anniversary Teaching for Change house parties. This wasn’t a stressful and stuffy major gala event—instead it was a grassroots fundraiser for a grassroots organization. There was a house full of wonderful company, scrumptious food, a relaxed atmosphere, and meaningful… Read more.


Amelia Boynton Robinson and the Dallas County Voters League

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Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson passed away on August 26, 2015 at the age of 104. Boynton Robinson, brutally beaten on Bloody Sunday. Amelia Boynton Robinson, brutally beaten on Bloody Sunday. She is best known for her iconic photo after being beaten in Selma on Bloody Sunday. While the photo offers evidence of her bravery and sacrifice, people should also know that her activism on the Edmund Pettus Bridge was preceded by decades of work that helped to lay the groundwork… Read more.


Américas Award Book Winners and K-12 Workshop

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The Américas Award has announced the 2015 titles: Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh and Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle. Both books, and their authors, are Teaching for Change favorites. Read more.


Stories from Our Classrooms: A Writing Course for D.C. Area Social Justice Teachers

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This course is for D.C. area teachers who are eager to write about their own classrooms through a social justice lens. We will meet to write and revise stories with the goal of each participant preparing a piece for publication. Pam Bryant, a National Writing Project facilitator, will coach teachers through a variety of writing exercises; participants will provide ongoing feedback to each other. In addition, guest authors will attend some of the sessions to share insights and experiences related to publishing… Read more.


Julian Bond, ¡Presente!

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We are deeply saddened at the passing of long time activist, professor, politician, and writer Julian Bond at the age of 75 on August 15, 2015. Bond was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) where he served as director of communications. He was the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center; was elected to four terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and later to six terms in the Georgia Senate; and from 1998 to 2010, he was chairperson of the NAACP. Read more.


Building a Civil Rights Teaching Community in Mississippi

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This summer, eleven middle and high school teachers from the across the state of Mississippi met to share resources, stories, and fellowship about how to bring a deeper understanding of the rich history of civil rights and labor movements in Mississippi to their students. During the course of the week they created a strong bond based on their shared commitment to introduce students to the bottom-up and often hidden history of the state. Read more.


Breaking Barriers of Race, Class, and Language in Schools

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On July 22, 2015, Teaching for Change hosted a special event, “Race, Class, and Language: Breaking Barriers to Family Engagement in D.C.,” a briefing over breakfast with community stakeholders about the impact of gentrification and systemic inequities on full parental participation in schools. The event featured case studies from the 2015-2016 school year at school partnering with the Tellin’ Stories Project, Teaching for Change’s nationally recognized approach to family engagement. Read more.

A New Tradition for Families Going to Middle School

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On May 29, 2015, breakfast greeted the fifth grade parents at Tyler Elementary (DCPS) a, first-year Tellin’ Stories partner school. The cheerful spread was part of a new tradition the teachers hoped to start for families preparing to make the leap from elementary to middle school: the Fifth Grade Family Promotional Breakfast. Read more.

Teaching Young Children about Race

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Recent events— including the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the Charleston church shooting, and the debate over the Confederate flag— have led many parents and teachers to seek out resources to address issues of race and inequality with young children. We share with you here an excerpt from the book Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. The book offers practical guidance to early childhood educators (including parents) for confronting barriers of prejudice, misinformation… Read more.


An Outside Perspective on a Tellin’ Stories School

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Just after the start of the school day on June 5, 2015, more than 20 parents gathered in the large meeting room to share their triumphs and challenges from the 2014-2015 school year at Thomson Elementary’s (DCPS) final Parent-Principal Chit Chat for the school year. The hour long breakfast meetings were established three years ago through a partnership with Teaching for Change’s Tellin’ Stories Project as a way to foster conversation and effective collaboration between families… Read more.


From D.C. to Central America, from Voting Rights to Sports: Teaching for Change at NCORE

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Teaching for Change co-hosted four dynamic sessions at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) late last month in Washington, D.C. NCORE had invited Teaching for Change to host these sessions in honor of our 25th anniversary. Read more.


2015 Summer Reading List

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At Teaching for Change, we are proud of our carefully selected booklists that highlight titles by and about people of color as well as social justice themes. Unfortunately, this is not the industry norm. In the last 10 years, fewer than 10% of children’s books published in the U.S. were by or about people of color. This year’s New York Times Summer Reading List is comprised 100% of white authors. Read more.


Monseñor Oscar Romero: Tribute Poem

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On the occasion of the beatification of Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero on May 23, 2015, we share “I Am the Land,” a tribute poem by our colleague (and former Teaching for Change board member) E. Ethelbert Miller. We also encourage educators to teach about Romero and many other unsung heroes in Central America with these resources designed to Put Central America on the Map in Schools. Read more.


Changing the Narrative About Selma

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On this 50th anniversary year of the Voting Rights Act, the mainstream media features images of President Lyndon Johnson making history with the stroke of a pen. Hidden is the more pivotal role of brave people such as the child in the photo, about to be arrested in Selma as he demands voting rights for all. Through our widely read article, The Selma Voting Rights Struggle: 15 Key Points from Bottom-Up History and Why It Matters Today by Emilye Crosby, we are pleased to have played a key role in uplifting… Read more.


Parents Visit Classrooms at Thomson Elementary School

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The parents at Tellin’ Stories third-year partner school Thomson Elementary (DCPS) sat with anticipation for this meeting with the principal. On Friday, May 8, 2015, they gathered in the school cafeteria with Principal Carmen Shepherd and interpreters for a special Parent-Principal Chit Chat. “We’re going to do class visits today, because that’s something you requested—to see more of what classrooms in action look like,” said Principal Shepherd to the 20 parents in attendance. Read more.


International FilmFest Goes to D.C. Classrooms

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Teaching for Change was pleased to help Filmfest DC 2015 bring filmmakers and students together for the fourth year in a row. In April 2015, students at three high schools in Washington, D.C., had the opportunity to talk with film’s directors about their documentaries. This year’s films were about gay marriage in the U.S. and education in Israel and Palestine. Read more.


Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School

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Teaching for Change, in partnership with DCPS, is pleased to announce that the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) has provided funding for the “Teach the Beat: Go-Go Goes to School: Artists and Scholars in the Classroom” initiative to infuse D.C.’s rich and unique tradition of go-go in the curriculum. To achieve this goal, go-go performers and scholars will be available to provide in-school coaching to D.C. public and public charter school teachers and students in music, social studies, and… Read more.


Orr Parents Take to Radio to Advocate for New Building

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“The [condition] of the building doesn’t reflect the community inside the school,” stated Orr Elementary (DCPS) parent Ms. Sirrell Phillips in a radio interview to discuss the pressing need to modernize the building where her youngest child attends pre-Kindergarten. Phillips and another Orr parent, Mr. Bernard Dickey were featured guests on Taking Action, a weekly radio show hosted by Empower DC on WPFW 89.3FM. The parents and community supporting Orr Elementary, located in Ward 8 in Washington, D.C… Read more.


Victory Stolen from Ward 8: Parents Fight Again for Orr Modernization

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Orr Elementary School (DCPS) parents in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 have organized for many years to have the building modernized. Orr, with an almost entirely low-income African American student population, is among the last open floor plan schools in the District. Built in 1974, it has never been modernized. The dedicated, high quality administration and teaching staff make this an over-enrolled and popular school, despite the building. Orr also serves the largest population of preschool through Kindergarten students… Read more.


Twitter Chat on Roving Readers Program April 22, 2015

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Join Teaching for Change for a discussion of the Roving Readers program on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 9pm EST. The chat, hosted by the Institute for Educational Leadership, will give insights for schools that want to implement Roving Readers, a program to bring parents into the classroom to read multicultural books. Read more.


Race, Rights, and Responsibility: NY Education Conference

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Teaching for Change is pleased co-sponsors Race, Rights, and Responsibility: What Educators Can Do to Help Their Students Think Critically About Protest, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberty on May 16, 2015 at the NYU Global Center. The conference is coordinated by Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools (Metro Center), under the leadership of Professor David Kirkland. As explained on the Metro Center website… Read more.


International Filmmakers Come to DC Schools

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Filmfest DC is back for its 29th year with an exciting new program of over 70 features, documentaries, and shorts representing the best in new cinema from around the globe. Producers from two of the films are available to visit with students in DC public or public charter school classrooms on April 23 and 24. Read more.


Lessons of Vietnam: Power of Protest

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We encourage students and teachers to attend this convening in Washington, D.C. for the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam Peace Movement on May 1-2. Here is the description from the conference organizers: As war continues to be a clear and present danger to our democracy, we will gather to reflect and renew our commitments. Hundreds of us will come to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, a meeting place and staging area for the huge anti-war mobilizations of the late 60s and early 70s. Read more.


Selma in Kosciusko

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“Women can do just as much as men can when it comes to leadership.” This is just one of the comments made by students in Jessica Dickens’ class in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Dickens, a teacher the Kosciusko School District and Mississippi Civil Rights movement and Labor History teacher fellow, recently introduced the lesson, Stepping into Selma: Voting Rights History and Legacy Today, to her 10th grade class. Read more.


Participatory Principal Selection Process

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Maria squeezed into the packed Parent Center at Bruce Monroe at Park View Elementary School in D.C. on Friday morning. She came to find out how she can be involved in choosing the school’s next principal in an interactive session led by Teaching for Change that brought to life information DCPS shared the previous week via PowerPoint. As Dr. Palacios, long-time educator and champion of bilingual education prepares to retire, the parents are electing representatives… Read more.


Food Justice Youth Summit

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By Jill Weiler

Our 11th grade FOOD JUSTICE EXPEDITION is an interdisciplinary three-part study (past, present and future) of the impact of food on our community–both locally and globally. The expedition begins with an exploration of our students’ families’ cultural connections to foods; as 99% of our students come from African American and immigrant families, we discuss the significant role of food in dictating cultural identity. Read more.


Teaching for Change Bookstore Memories

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On this 25th anniversary of Teaching for Change and 10th anniversary of our bookstore, we are passing on the operations of the bookstore at 14th & V to Busboys and Poets partner Politics and Prose. As we prepare to end our operation of the bookstore at 14th & V, we are collecting testimonials and memories about the store, favorite books, author events, and more. We invite you to read, share, and add your own.


Making Voices of D.C. the Text: Workshop for DCPS Curriculum Team

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“We want our texts to provide mirrors and windows for our students,” said Brian Pick, chief of teaching and learning for DCPS, in his introduction. “We want to make sure that they see themselves reflected in the curriculum and that they have texts that allow them to see beyond the 61 square miles of DC.” On March 17, DC Public Schools (DCPS) held a 2-day work session for educators to review current texts and develop a culturally responsive curriculum as part of the Empowering Males of Color Initiative. Read more.


Teaching for Change at NCORE

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As part of our 25th anniversary series of events, Teaching for Change will co-host four sessions at the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). Held in D.C. this year, NCORE 2015 runs from May 26-30, 2015. The conference will open with a special forum called, “Dispatches from the Movement: Perspectives on Leadership, Organizing and Solidarity in the Struggle for Racial Justice.” The opening keynote speaker is hip hop activist and journalist… Read more.


 

 

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