Teaching for Change in 2020

We are pleased to share selected highlights from Teaching for Change’s work in 2020.

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 2021.

Download a PDF version of our 2020 highlights.

Off the Charts Traffic

Traffic to our websites went off the charts in June and has remained at above-average levels across the board. For example, SocialJusticeBooks.org had a 742% increase in traffic in June. We added new booklists on hair, gentrification and housing, healthcare, media, and policing and we added many titles to our other booklists. We also added a collection of booklists relevant to Black Lives Matter at School.

Adapted Lessons for Online Use

As teachers shifted to remote instruction, we adapted lessons for online use for our second annual Teach Central America week and Civil Rights Teaching website, as well as sharing teaching stories and convening our teacher working groups virtually.

Third Annual D.C. Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action

In February, Teaching for Change’s D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice collaborated on the third annual D.C. Area Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action. More than 500 pre-K to 12 and college educators from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia engaged students in lessons about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, Black history, and anti-racist movements.

Freedom Reads: Anti-Bias Book Talk

In response to an overwhelming number of requests for recommendations of anti-bias children’s books, we launched the Freedom Reads: Anti-Bias Book Talk video series. The series shares how we select high-quality, anti-bias books so that parents and teachers can do the same.

Second Annual Teach Central America Week

We coordinated the second annual Teach Central America Week to encourage and support teaching about Central America during Latinx Heritage Month. Hundreds of teachers from 35 states and D.C. participated, using free lessons and resources from TeachingCentralAmerica.org.

New Booklists

We added new booklists on hair, gentrification and housing, healthcare, media, and policing and we added many titles to our other booklists. We also added a collection of booklists relevant to Black Lives Matter at School.

Social Justice Books Featured on CNN Sesame Street Town Hall

Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, was a special guest on the CNN Sesame Street Town Hall “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism.” When a parent asked how to teach young children to be anti-racist in an age-appropriate way, Tatum suggested children’s books that can help young children understand and celebrate differences. She added,

A great source for those books is SocialJusticeBooks.org. They have lists of age-appropriate books that you can find that will help parents introduce sensitive subjects.

125,000 Teachers Joined the Zinn Education Project

Our Zinn Education Project (with Rethinking Schools) reached the milestone of 125,000 teachers registered to use our people’s history lessons! We produced online classes and workshops for educators, formed and supported 28 Teaching for Black Lives study groups, defended the teaching of people’s history against White House attacks, launched a campaign to teach about the 15th Amendment on the 150th anniversary (1870-2020), and published new people’s history lessons on COVID, voting rights, Rosa Parks, reparations, climate change, and police brutality.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Virtual Teach-In: Food and Water Justice

We collaborated with the National Museum of the American Indian for a virtual Indigenous Peoples’ Day Curriculum Teach-In, reaching hundreds of teachers across the country. Winona LaDuke gave a keynote about the importance of biodiversity, especially in light of climate change and the pandemic. “We’re going to learn what re-localization is about.”

Published Third Edition of Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico

We published a third edition of our book Caribbean Connections: Puerto Rico edited by Marilisa Jiménez García.

Board and Staff Transitions

We welcomed new board members Satara Charlson and Rhonda Crenshaw and expressed our appreciation to Kate Tindle for 20 years of board service, including as chair. The board elected officers: Nzinga Tull (chair), Lauren Khouri (vice chair), Tiffany Mitchell Patterson (secretary), and Gita Rao (treasurer). See our full board list.

After ten years of dedicated service as associate director, Allyson Criner Brown left to pursue a new career. Due to the pandemic, we regretfully had to lay off two staff members (Talia Brock and Nancy Salazar) from our Tellin’ Stories project and long time publications/admin colleague Don Allen.

In the Media

Teaching for Change was featured in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, TIME Magazine, Yes! Magazine, CNN, Good Morning America, Education Week, PTO Today, The Washington City Paper, the 74, and BooksforLittles.com. The Zinn Education Project was featured in TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Teen Vogue, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, Teaching Tolerance, Common Dreams, Education Week, Nonprofit Quarterly, Smithsonian Magazine, Democracy Now!, and public radio in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.