Current News


Victory Stolen from Ward 8 Community: Parents Fight Again for Orr ES 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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Please 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.


25th Anniversary Author Events

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For this 25th anniversary year of Teaching for Change, we are hosting a series of special events. The first three events are author talks hosted by Teaching for Change at Busboys and Poets (14&V) in Washington, D.C. Join us to learn from these authors about cutting edge issues in education. Read more.


Bookstore Sale

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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 store to Busboys and Poets partner Politics and Prose. In advance of our departure on April 27, we need to clear out as much of the inventory as we can. Towards that end we are offering discounts on in-store purchases. This is a good time to stock up on books for your classroom, family, gifts, and/or to donate to your local school. Read more.


Students Become Unsung Heroes

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On a Sunday afternoon in early March, twenty students took on the roles of unsung heroes in a Zinn Education Project lesson, facilitated by Teaching for Change curriculum specialist Julian Hipkins III. The students are members of Operation Understanding DC (OUDC). Operation Understanding DC’s mission is to “build a generation of African American and Jewish community leaders who promote respect, understanding and cooperation while working to eradicate… Read more.


Thank You to Our Bookstore Shelf Sponsors

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We greatly appreciate the National Education Association and the Keene Family for sponsoring the education and children’s book sections at our non-profit, independent Teaching for Change Bookstoreat Busboys and Poets (14 & V). Read more.


In Memory of Claude Sitton, From an Admiring Beneficiary

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Teaching for Change board member and SNCC veteran Timothy Jenkins wrote this personal tribute to award winning journalist Claude Sitton (December 4, 1925 – March 10, 2015). It was altogether fitting and proper that Claude Sitton, the fearless Pulitzer Prize winning journalist of the Sixties civil rights revolution, waited to die on March 10th of this year, just days after President Barack Obama joined Congressman John Lewis, the erstwhile… Read more.


Essential Resource for Kids on the Complexity of the Movement

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When my daughter started writing a historical fiction short story about friendship and school integration, she didn’t have the background to get inside her characters’ heads. I started pulling books for her to explore. One of the first I picked helped her the most, Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching. My daughter responded immediately to the Eloise Greenfield poem included in the chapter on education. Read more.


Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets to Close

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


On the Second Front of the BlackLivesMatter Movement

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By Ayo Magwood I like to think of myself as a socially and racially conscious African-American, and as a social justice teacher. Yet I haven’t been to a single #BlackLivesMatter protest: not a single march, demonstration, or “die-in.” And this is in spite of the fact that my parents met at very similar protests during the civil rights movement fifty years ago, and despite the fact that three to four years later they marched in many of these protests… Read more.


Central America Workshop in Mt. Rainier

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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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”

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“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

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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

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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

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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.

 

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