Teaching for Change in 2018

We are pleased to share selected highlights from Teaching for Change’s work in 2018.

Our work 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.

Please make a donation to ensure that we can continue this work in 2019.

Changing the Narrative About the Civil Rights Movement

Teaching for Change partnered with Duke University and the SNCC Legacy Project to lead a NEH teacher institute, The Civil Rights Movement: Grassroots Perspectives. Classroom teachers from across the country learned from scholars and SNCC veterans including Barbara Ransby, Hasan Jeffries, Charlie Cobb, Judy Richardson, and many more.

We also launched a new version of our website CivilRightsTeaching.org.

D.C. Area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools

The D.C. Area Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools gave a powerful start to Black History Month in classrooms across the Washington, D.C. area. Teaching for Change, with many other groups, collaborated with pre-K — 12th grade teachers in more than 100 schools to bring lessons about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, and Black history to the classroom. We held public events leading up to and during the week of action, including a session for educators with Dr. Ibram Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning, and “Love Poems to Black Women,” an open mic poetry night.

Teaching About Central America

We offered workshops for teachers and created 12 new lessons on Central America, including the four-lesson unit, “The Roots of Immigration from El Salvador and Current Policy Debates.”

Challenging Scholastic

We challenged the normalization of Trump’s presidency in children’s books published by Scholastic. More than 1,000 people wrote letters protesting the celebratory tone and omission of facts in their two biographies for elementary students, and demanded an accurate portrayal of the President.

Social Justice Books

We added dozens of new reviews to the See What We See database at SocialJusticeBooks.org and added new booklists on incarceration, Reconstruction, Muslims, science fiction, and more.

Challenge Islamophobia

We created and piloted seven lessons as part of our Challenge Islamophobia project. The lessons will be available online for free download in 2019.

Anti-Bias Early Childhood Education

We convened Anti-Bias Early Childhood Education sessions for early childhood educators on racegender, and Native Americans in children’s literature, and convened an Anti-Bias Working Group as part of D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice.

Parent Organizing and Engagement

Our Tellin’ Stories parent engagement project published a Parent Organization Equity and Inclusion Tool, a self-guided tool designed to help parent organizations (PTAs/PTOs) disrupt practices that support racism, classism, and other –isms. The Tellin’ Stories project works directly in five D.C. schools and with three additional schools through our Race, Equity, and Family Engagement training series.

Teach Reconstruction

Our Zinn Education Project (with Rethinking Schools) expanded our Teach Reconstruction campaign. We added a student mapping project to make Reconstruction visible and held workshops for teachers in Washington, D.C., New York City, Charlottesville, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Durham, and more. Read more Zinn Education Project highlights from 2018.

Telling the Story of the VIA

We helped launch The Story of the Virginia Interscholastic Association (VIA) website in collaboration with Virginia State University and the VIA Heritage Association (VIAHA). The website is designed to preserve the rich heritage and legacy of African-American students and adults who participated in the Virginia Interscholastic Association from 1954-70 and its predecessor organization the Virginia Interscholastic Association League (VIAL). The goal is to work with VIA alumni to add more first-person stories, primary documents, and narratives.


Stories Added to the Howard Zinn Website

We continued to add new content to HowardZinn.org, a website managed by Teaching for Change on behalf of the Howard Zinn Trust. We alerted visitors to the new book Howard Zinn’s Southern Diary: Sit-Ins, Civil Rights, and Black Women’s Student Activism and the new edition of Zinn’s autobiography, You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

Making the Work Possible

Our work continues to be supported by generous individuals and foundation grants, including the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Communities for Just Schools Fund, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer FoundationO’Neill Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our Challenging Islamophobia project received support from the Betty Lee & Dudley P. Digges Memorial Fund, the Emergent Fund, a partnership between Solidaire Network, Women Donors Network, Threshold Foundation, and the Democracy Alliance, and individual donors. Teaching for Change is in year three of its designation by the Catalogue for Philanthropy as “one of the best” charities in Washington, D.C.

In the News

Teaching for Change was featured in The Washington Post, Edutopia, The Guardian, YES! Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine online, AL DÍA News, Rising Up with Sonali, Think Progress, School Library Journal, NEA Today, INQUISITR, Rethinking Schools, The Root, Teaching Tolerance, and the Hechinger Report.

Zinn Education Project was featured in The Washington Post, The Nation, Nonprofit Quarterly, Hechinger Report, The Post and Courier (Charleston, SC), and NPR’s 1A.

In Memory

In 2018, many people who fought for freedom and informed our work passed away. These include Ira Berlin, Anthony Bourdain, Linda Brown, James Cone, Dorothy Cotton, Ron Dellums, Aretha Franklin, Hari JonesUrsula K. Le GuinChuck McDew, Devah Pager, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Ntozake ShangeRosalyn Terborg-PennWyatt Tee Walker, Nancy Wilson, and many more.

We will continue to walk in their footsteps to create a world with peace and justice.

Chuck McDew. Photo courtesy crmvet.org.