35th Anniversary Year

It’s Teaching for Change’s 35th anniversary!

Over the last 35 years we’ve reached teachers and students in tens of thousands of American classrooms. In just the last 10 years alone, more than 24,000 teachers have participated in our work and learned ways to teach for change.

In the next five years, we’re setting out to reach teachers at 10,000 schools in the United States. We want your help to do it.

Teachers report that our curriculum fairs, teach-ins, workshops, study groups, fellowships, publications, resources, and community spaces transform the way they approach their work. In the next five years Teaching for Change wants to bring these resources to teachers at 10,000 schools — that’s 10% of all schools in the country. 

Here’s how you can be part of it. Become a member of our sustaining donor community, the Change Collective.

One of our 35th anniversary goals is to raise $350,000 so that we can support teachers and students in the years ahead.

Patricia Hill Collins. Photo by Janel Lee.

To launch that fundraising campaign, we received a generous donation from renowned sociologist Patricia Hill Collins, who was selected for the 2023 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture.

Collins, a longtime supporter of Teaching for Change, had the Berggruen Institute give us a portion of the prize money. Given how much we admire and learn from Collins’ scholarship, this is a true honor.

Throughout 2024 we’ll share stories about our impact during our 35-year history.

We’ll also highlight people who inspire us, like Septima Clark, and people who make this work possible, beginning with our board, staff, and donors.


Our Impact

Filling a Gap in the Curriculum

Teaching for Change provides resources and professional development to help teachers fill gaps in the curriculum about the Civil Rights Movement, Central America, D.C.’s iconic go-go music, people’s history, and more. Throughout the year we’ll add stories to this page about these efforts.

Teach the Beat

Teaching for Change helps teachers infuse go-go music in the curriculum with classroom workshops led by musicians, free lessons, and professional development. Go-go originated in D.C. during the mid- to late-1970s and has remained the city’s soundtrack for generations.

While many bands got their start in D.C. schools, decades later it was not in the D.C. history textbooks and only the teachers who grew up in D.C. were familiar with the music. To help address that gap in the curriculum and bring go-go to classrooms, Teaching for Change launched the Teach the Beat project in 2011 in collaboration with local go-go artists and the authors of The Beat: Go-Go Music from Washington, D.CRead more.


Women of Hope Poster Series

The “Women of Hope” poster series was designed to introduce students to women throughout history who have challenged injustice. We can fight cynicism and despair by seeing our work as part of what poet Audre Lorde describes as the “continuum of women’s work.”

In 1994, Teaching for Change received an invitation from Bread and Roses director Moe Foner to write a teaching guide for the groundbreaking poster series, “Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference.”

Originally produced for members of the 1199 National Health and Human Services Employees Union, the posters became so popular that they were displayed in schools, subways, and other public places. Series on Latinas, Native Americans, and Asians Americans followed.


The People Who Make It Happen

Our board, staff, volunteers, interns, and donors make this work possible. Throughout the year we’ll introduce some of them.

Nzinga Tull

Board Chair
Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Our board chair, Nzinga Tull, is a native Washingtonian, a graduate of the D.C. public schools and Spelman College, and a systems engineer with her family’s engineering firm, Jackson and Tull.

Tull believes that access to progressive publications and to rigorous, culturally relevant, student-centered K-12 public education is critical for healthy communities. When she isn’t wearing her “engineer” or “education advocate” hats, she enjoys studying and performing with the KanKouran West African Dance Company.

Learn about Tull in a Washington City Paper People Issue interview and read her remarks about author Eloise Greenfield.

Timothy L. Jenkins

Board member

Timothy L. Jenkins speaks to the power of learning Black history at a young age.

Since I had been the principal lobbyist for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a reporter asked, “How did you first learn about and take an interest in Civil Rights?”

I answered, “When a school-teacher aunt of mine, Emma Williams, bought me yearly subscriptions to The Negro History Bulletin published by Carter G. Woodson’s Association for the Study of African American Life and History, while I was still in junior high school.” Read more.

Keesha Ceran

Deputy Director

We are pleased to announce associate director Keesha Ceran’s promotion to deputy director of Teaching for Change.

This is in recognition of her contributions to Teaching for Change and her expanded responsibilities during her tenure with the organization.

Keesha has made dramatic improvements to our internal operations and program delivery. Read more.

Berger Family Foundation

Donors

The Berger Family Foundation, including children’s book author Samantha Berger, is an annual supporter of our Social Justice Books.

Samantha learned about our work through our mutual colleague, hip-hop artist and teacher Toni Blackman.

Check out our favorite book by Samantha Berger, What If . . ., about a girl who uses the power of her imagination.

Join the Berger Family Foundation by making a donation for our 35th anniversary.

Please Donate


Each month, we will add more stories.