Virtual Curriculum Fair: Black Lives Matter at School 2022
This was so informative and NECESSARY. I NEEDED this after learning the legislation stuff that’s coming up for Virginia schools.
Wow! I am still processing all that I have experienced! I am changed because of this experience. Thank you.
I think this was a great space for educators and advocates to come together to learn more about ways to engage youth in teaching the truth, in learning America’s history, and in becoming strong leaders. I think the workshops were inclusive of all age groups and had a strong variety of topics
This experience exceeded my expectations. The sheer amount of resources available inspire me to get right down to this important work! I found both sessions informative and well-prepared. I appreciated the interactive nature of the second workshop and getting to share ideas with other educators. My students will definitely benefit from what I’ve learned here today. THANK YOU!!!!
— teachforjustice (@stefenymarie) January 22, 2022
On Saturday, January 22nd, 2022, Teaching for Change and the Howard University School of Education hosted their annual Black Lives Matter at School Curriculum Fair. Educators from all over the United States gathered virtually to connect, collaborate, and prepare for the Week of Action (Jan. 31 – Feb 4, 2022) and Year of Purpose.
The fair kicked off with a welcome and introduction from national Black Lives Matter at School representative Tamara Anderson who talked about the origins of Black Lives Matter at School and the 13 guiding principles, the Week of Action, and the Year of Purpose. She was followed by Dr. Katherine Norris, department chair for curriculum and instruction at Howard University’s School of Education, who highlighted our annual partnership. She noted that the participants included preservice educators from the School of Education and the presenters included Howard University professors Dr. Catherine Quinlan and Dr. Altheria Caldera.
Vanessa Williams, program manager for D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice (DCAESJ), introduced a gallery hall of resources for attendees to interact with one another on pre K – 12 resources about Black Lives Matter at School.
“We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us. Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to continue our struggle and work.”
— The Combahee River Collective
Free Books and InService Credit
Thanks to donations by publishers, participants who completed the evaluation were entered for a chance to win one of 50 books for children or young adults related to the Black Lives Matter at School 13 Guiding Principles. Attendees also received a 2.5-hour professional development certificate.
SESSION ONE WORKSHOPS
Community Organizing 101 – Outreach and Allies
Zinn Education Project organizers Debbie Wei and Tamara Anderson co-facilitated an introduction for teachers on how to organize to defend the right to #TeachTruth in the face of anti-history education bills. Participants learned strategies to build a coalition with allies such as unions, CBOs, clergy, student organizations, youth groups, higher education groups, and progressive elected officials.
I really appreciate all of the great advice and resources! One of the things I learned is that I need to have one-on-one conversations to invite people in, and have a back-up suggestion for when they say they are too busy.
I learned practical tips for organizing, including strategies for having conversations that are friendly but encourage people to join the movement. Love the one stop shop Google doc and appreciate Debbie and Tamara being so open to stay in touch.
Art as Empathy: How an Ordinary D.C. Hero Invites Us to Discover Beauty Wherever We Are
Dena Rapoport, a museum educator at the National Gallery of Art, began her workshop with an invitation for participants to think beyond the conventional definition of empathy and consider that fostering empathy can also be about a relationship between oneself and a place or a community. She asked: “What is a favorite place? If you had to pick one color that you associate with that place, what color would that be?” After everyone settled into an artist’s mindset, Rapoport told the life story of Alma Thomas, a well-known D.C. artist and teacher who broke many barriers, including becoming the first Fine Arts graduate of Howard University in 1924. Participants learned about the ways that Thomas connected with her city and community through her art, her work as a DC Public School art teacher, and community involvement. The workshop ended with a restorative, hands-on exercise using colored pencils or markers and a piece of paper. As Rapoport noted, this is “not about perfection, but about the experience.” This exercise is one that teachers can easily bring into their classroom as a much-needed reminder to slow down and see the world’s beauty and colors in stressful times during the pandemic.
I thought it was great! We received a whole list of resources from the presenter to dig in more to Alma Thomas and the work that she did in DC.
I enjoyed learning about Alma Woodsey Thomas and her contribution, both locally here in D.C. and overall as a Black art teacher and artist. I loved the activity and how calming it was and can imagine this being a sweet way to connect students to Black history, empowerment, nature, and art.
Participants share their Alma Thomas inspired creations at the end of the workshop
Culture as Resistance to Colonization: from 1619 to Today
Dani McCormick and Ali Schneiderman, who co-facilitated this workshop with their students, are two D.C. fourth grade teachers working together to deepen their students’ knowledge of culture as a way to combat a whitewashed version of history. Through guiding questions that included considering how to make history both meaningful and powerful, and how to have honest conversations about decolonization and abolition, they challenged the students to make connections between the history taught and the lessons of today while thinking of how culture can inspire freedom work and action. Students learned the definition of colonization and history of displacement, working to uncover the cultures of the past in order to work to humanize us. The end product of this unit included the creation of a “zine” written as a piece of historical fiction that is typically left out of the narrative. The co-facilitators then invited students to share their experiences, understandings, and read from their own writing as well as discuss how this work had helped them to grow in understanding of their own culture.
Including 4th graders as presenters was powerful! The presentation was packed full of information and resources. I greatly appreciated this session.
Students at any age can learn about abolition and use it to make change in the world today. I was very impressed with the thought and hard work the teachers put into the lessons they created for their students. The lessons they learned in 4th grade will help shape the humans they will be as they grow and have a deeper understanding of the world. I am hopeful for the future!
The resources shared were incredible; I am so impressed that the presenters copied their entire curriculum for this unit to share with the general public, and I am excited to scroll through it and see what I may want to take to supplement what I am already doing in my classroom. Also, I was impressed by the 4th grade presenters who shared with a bunch of adult strangers on a Saturday!
Lift Every Voice: The Arts as Social Protest
Facilitating this workshop with infectious enthusiasm and positivity, Anne Smith, Alexandria City Public Schools music teacher, provided participants with an examination of how the arts have been used throughout history as a means of documentation and social protest. Participants engaged in kinesthetic, linguistic, and arts activities designed to deepen understanding and encourage self-expression, looking particularly at how spoken word, visual arts, theater arts, and music all lend to forms of protest.
Wonderful workshop content and facilitation! Thank you!
I loved the personal word cloud activity as a way to reconnect with my WHY!
Participants in this workshop celebrated the strong community Anne curated during their time together.
Voices from the Underground Railroad
J. Rance Fisher utilized the novel Copper Sun by Sharon Draper as an anchor text and paired with the television series Underground, along with poems, spirituals, newspaper articles, and other excerpts that tell the story of enslaved people who traveled the underground railroad. In this workshop, educators were introduced to resources for building an interdisciplinary unit as well as strategies and tools for analyzing text, film, and other literary mediums. In this interactive session, educators were able to connect with the content of the unit and participate in discussion prompts to engage with the content in different ways, such as the use of a Jamboard, where educators were prompted to “jot down their feelings, noticings, and wonderings,” after watching a clip from Underground.
In addition to delving into the heroics of resisting oppression and escaping to freedom, themes of heroism, perseverance, slavery, family, community, the role of Black women, identity, and freedom are explored. Educators were prompted to create a hashtag using Padlet that would spur conversation. During this activity, one educator shared, “ I love this prompt! I am terrible at hashtag type things, but I love the prompt. I think students would get into it.”
Together, educators explored instructional practices and strategies that foster critical thinking, cultural knowledge, and the ability to evaluate perspectives posed by various authors and texts.
As the workshop came to a close the chat lit up with some great appreciation for the session including this one,
Your passion for this work and the planning you’ve put into teaching this is amazing – thank you for sharing what you created.
Forgotten Heroes Still Leave Their Mark: Lessons from the Reconstruction Era
Michelle Coles, a civil rights attorney and author of the young adult novel Black Was the Ink, co-facilitated a session entitled: “Forgotten Heroes Still Leave Their Mark: Lessons from the Reconstruction Era” with Justin Johnson, an art teacher and the book’s illustrator. Coles began the presentation with a discussion of her novel, which was a New Visions Award finalist. Inspired by the history of the Mother Emanuel Church, it follows an African American teenager as he learns about his connection to the forgotten heroes of the Reconstruction era. Participants then engaged in a quiz where they learned about the lesser-known contributions and triumphs of African Americans who served in the highest levels of government and laid the groundwork for sweeping reforms only a few years after the end of the Civil War. The session concluded with a lesson from Johnson on visual literacy, where the participants explored how art is a literary tool that can impact the story as much as the words. Many participants emphasized that they were excited to use Black Was the Ink as a resource for teaching about the Reconstruction era accurately and engagingly.
One participant commented:
I found this session to be incredible, and I am so excited to dive into the resources around the book and history of it.
SESSION TWO WORKSHOPS
Embodying and Practical Empathy, Justice & Liberation through Slow Looking at Art
Yerko Sepulveda, a Spanish teacher and the Diversity Council Coordinator at Hawken Upper School in Cleveland, Ohio, co-facilitated a session entitled “Embodying and Practicing Empathy, Justice, and Liberation Through Slow Looking at Art,” with Kamisha Morrisson, an elementary teacher and co-chair of the Lower School DEIJ Committee. Sepulveda and Morrisson conducted a presentation on the faceted ways in which educators and students can use art as a catalyst to maximize multicultural voices and representation with a sense of agency and empowerment. Participants analyzed a cultural artifact, Deborah Roberts’ 2019 collage, “Between Them,” and engaged with each other through utilization of the chat bar on what they observed and the connections they made with the piece. The conversation on this artwork expanded to a big-picture consideration of what the piece may suggest about the world and our place in it. The session concluded with participants constructing poems based on their colleagues’ responses to the ways that the artwork embodied empathy, justice, and liberation. Many other participants expressed how they would use the facilitators’ “See, Think, Me, We” technique in their classrooms when analyzing cultural artifacts across a range of genres.
One participant said:
I appreciated how this concept of slow-looking seemed so versatile, not just for art, but can be used in evaluating documents and loved the integration of the art itself.
- Slide Deck
- Culturally Responsive Education in the Classroom: An Equity Framework for Pedagogy by Adeyemi Stembridge
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
- On Critical Pedagogy by Henry A. Giroux
- “The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People’s Children” by Lisa A. Delpit.
“Riots,” Racism, and the Police: Exploring a Century of Police Conduct and Racial Violence
Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, a Rethinking Schools editor and Zinn Education Project team member, facilitated a session entitled: “Riots,” Racism, and the Police: Exploring a Century of Police Conduct and Racial Violence. Participants had the opportunity to engage with this lesson and examined excerpts from three reports, written in 1922, 1968, and 2015, about three major episodes of racial violence to analyze historical continuities. Padlet was used to great effect to provide participants with the opportunity to share their learning and get a synopsis of the documents they had not read. Participants discussed ideas for classroom implementation in small groups, including providing excerpts of the report without context and asking students to guess when they were written and why before revealing the dates, and having students connect their documents to contemporary and local discussions regarding police presence in schools
I was exposed to primary sources I had never seen. I knew of the events, but the sources I did not have. I also loved that I was able to make a lesson out of them to use in the immediate future.
Loved how interactive this session was. Speaker did a great job at facilitating and allowing time for reflection.
Justice Warriors: Stone Mountain and Restorative Justice
Sally Stanhope, a high school teacher and member of the Stone Mountain Action Coalition, facilitated a session entitled “Justice Warriors: Stone Mountain and Restorative Justice.” Stanhope opened the session by engaging participants in a discussion about their own experiences with Confederate memorials. She then illuminated the issues surrounding Confederate memorials through a brief history and virtual tour of Stone Mountain Park, which is home to the largest Confederate memorial in the world: a carving of three Confederate leaders. Anti-racist groups have opposed the carving since its approval in the 20th century, and many nationalist organizations have used the park as a place to promote their false historical narratives. Participants collaborated in small teams to study primary sources and propose solutions for how Stone Mountain Park can be changed to affirm Black lives and restorative justice. Many educators expressed a desire to visit the park with their students on an activism field trip, and plan to use this document-based question activity in their classrooms.
I had never heard of Stone Mountain! It was shocking and a good learning experience.
Reinvigorated activist teaching and project-based activities for students.
I am doing DBQs with my AP kids right now, so I would love to find a way to use these in an upcoming lesson.
Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell
In this workshop, filmmaker Cintia Cabib presented a clip of her latest documentary, “Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell.” The documentary, which is streaming on PBS, explores the lives and work of two unsung but accomplished Black women artists and educators who forged careers in segregated Washington, D.C. and who developed a special bond as aunt and niece. Their life stories, works of art, and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated society where marginalized Black artists seized educational opportunities, became prominent faculty members of African American schools, and established their own venues to exhibit and publish their work. Cabib presented a study guide she has developed for middle school and high school students to accompany a screening of “Kindred Spirits.” Participants learned how “Kindred Spirits” is a valuable tool for educators who teach African American and Washington, D.C. history, African American art history, and the visual arts. After viewing clips of the film, educators were divided into groups by area of interest and reviewed Cabib’s study guide. They discussed their ideas on how the documentary can be used in the classroom and how the film can inspire students to research and document other overlooked Black artists through essays, poster presentations, oral history videos, and podcasts.
I loved the study guide that accompanied it and how it feeds into the larger need to recognize and celebrate Black artists.
Thank you for the introduction to these amazing women and their stories! I wish Cintia continued success and reach in your storytelling
Creating an Antiracist Classroom Library (W/ Lesson Plans) for YOUR Elementary Classroom
In this workshop, first year teacher, Sarena Vogelsong, began by framing her work as response to current instances of censorship within children’s libraries. While educators began to commit to working toward anti-racism and joining with the anti-racist library campaign, school boards and policymakers were fighting back by banning large numbers of books and texts from classrooms and libraries. This work persists, despite current uprisings and organizations that are working to refine standards for bringing anti-racist literature into classroom libraries. Vogelsong shared her organization’s current method for analyzing books, and discussed standards such as representation, acknowledgement of Black joy, author identity, intersectionalities, approaches to hard conversations, and the use of the BLM guiding principles to tie these texts to lessons learned in the classroom. To close the workshop, participants joined together in examining the text “The Proudest Blue” through the lens of these library building standards.
I loved the idea of providing mirrors, windows, and sliding doors to my students through book choice. It is inspiring to think that I can find authors who represent groups of children in my class so they can see the beauty and uniqueness of their culture, beliefs, and lifestyle.
How Black Educators Organized for Black Youth: The Virginia Interscholastic Association (1954 – 1970)
This workshop, co-facilitated by Dr. Joshua Wright, associate professor of history at Trinity Washington University, and Dr. Kristal Moore Clemons, national director of CDF Freedom Schools, highlighted the Virginia Interscholastic Association (VIA), an organization of Black high schools created in 1954 through the efforts of Black secondary school principals and administrators. The VIA is a story about a vision for a society that acknowledged Black high school students for their intelligence, creative skills, and athletic abilities.
Workshop participants were also greeted by Knox Tull Jr., one of the VIA’s contributors and a graduate of George P. Phenix High School in Hampton, Virginia. Tull Jr. l shared his appreciation to Drs. Wright and Moore Clemons for their efforts in bringing the VIA story to life. He also shared words of encouragement for educators participating in the workshop and what they are doing to support young people.
The facilitators engaged participants in uplifting the intergenerational and Black villages guiding principles of Black Lives Matter at School by analyzing primary sources found on the VIA’s digital archive.
Elle (ASL Interpreter), Dr. Moore Clemons, Dr. Wright, Mr. Knox Tull Jr. in conversation)
This sparked me to want to investigate whether or not such associations/organizations existed in Detroit Public schools during a similar timeframe.
Narratives of Black Heritage in the Science Curriculum: Introduction to Keystone Passage Book Series
This workshop introduced students to a chapter book series titled Keystone Passage which was created by Howard University School of Education professor Dr. Catherine Quinlan. With the emphasis on literacy and mathematics, sometimes the connections to science are not so clear for the elementary school teacher. Even more disconnected are the narratives of Black heritage from the science curriculum. Considering this, Quinlan introduced participants to her first two books, To Africa And Black and Day and Night on the Space Station, which capture both science ideas and the nuances and excitement of Black heritage and culture. Quinlan shared about the accompanying curriculum materials that can be used in the classroom and introduced attendees to connections to understandings derived from Indigenous peoples that often go unacknowledged in science.
One participant shared:
Dr. Quinlan had some great resources to connect African history to science curricula. Her books were also wonderful examples of Black representation in STEM texts.
Workshops with ASL interpretation are marked [ASL].
Art as Empathy: How an Ordinary D.C. Hero Invites Us to Discover Beauty Wherever We Are. All ages.
This session invites participants to step into the color-filled world of trailblazer artist Alma Thomas and discover how Thomas’ artistic perspective can inspire us to find beauty in our own neighborhoods and communities. During the session, the presenter will share examples of how the artist sought out beauty in her Washington, D.C., world through her art. During the second half of the workshop, participants will embody Alma Thomas’s mindset and experiment with colors to create their own Thomas-inspired artworks. This session is for teachers interested in topics on nature or ecology, art, local D.C. history, and everyday heroes or role models. The session is geared for those with a comfort in artmaking as well as those new to the artmaking process.
About the artist, Alma Thomas: At the age of 16, Thomas moved from Columbus, Georgia, to Washington, D.C., with her parents and three sisters, seeking relief from racial violence in the South and opportunities for Alma and her sisters to continue their formal education. Thomas became a trailblazer of many “firsts”: she was the first graduate of Howard University’s fine arts department and the first woman African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. She inspired students at the former Shaw Junior High School during her 35 years teaching for D.C. Public Schools and actively worked as an artist throughout her life. Thomas became an important role model for women, African Americans, and artists. Participants should bring: a piece of paper (any size – can be scrap paper or even the back of a piece of junk mail); pencil; coloring materials such as colored pencils, markers, crayons, paint, watercolors, or even colorful scraps of paper; optional: a photograph of a favorite in your town or your neighborhood, such as a park or landmark (photo can be on your smartphone, this is meant just as a reference for the short art activity).
Dena Rapoport is a museum educator and coordinator of family programs at the National Gallery of Art. In this capacity, she helps students and families learn together and connect to creativity and to the process of art making. She holds a B.A. in History of Art from The Ohio State University and an M.A. in Art History from The George Washington University where she worked as a teaching assistant. Previously, Dena held positions at The Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of African Art. She previously attended the Harvard Project Zero Classroom Summer Institute and presented at NAEA and WISSIT.
Community Organizing 101: Outreach and Allies. All ages.
GOP lawmakers across the country are attempting to pass legislation to ban teaching the truth about our country’s history and current events. Learn tips for how to increase the impact of your Teach Truth actions. Learn strategies to gain support from allies such as unions, CBOs, clergy, student organizations, youth groups, higher education groups, and progressive elected officials.
Debbie Wei is a long-time educator from Philadelphia. She is a national organizer for the Zinn Education Project. She currently works as a social studies curriculum coordinator in the School District of Philadelphia.
Tamara Anderson is an advocate for children and teens, an anti-racist trainer, a professional artist, editor, freelance journalist, and blogger with over 20 years of experience as an educator. A former Philadelphia school teacher, she is a Teach Truth campaign organizer with the Zinn Education Project and teaches at West Chester University in the Education Policy Department. Tamara is one of the founding steering committee members of the National Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action, a core member of the Racial Justice Organizing Committee, a core organizer of Philly-Black Lives Matter Week at Schools, Opt-Out Philly, and a diversity consultant for the American Association of Physics Teachers.
Culture as Resistance to Colonization: from 1619 to Today. [ASL] Elementary-Middle School.
Learn how fourth graders explore ways, both modern and historical, that people have resisted colonization by reclaiming aspects of culture and community, including language, food, land, music, movement, storytelling and spirituality/religion. The fourth grade students are co-presenters and will share their process for creating zines that incorporate historical fiction, informational writing, and the arts to resist modern colonization. Workshop participants will receive access to the complete unit, including resources such as texts, videos, lessons, and interviews of local D.C. organizers and resistors that can be incorporated into the classroom.
Dani McCormick is in their 8th year teaching at Mundo Verde Public Charter School, a bilingual school focused on sustainability and social justice. They are currently a Pulitzer Center fellow and the political education chair of DCACTS union, and have served as a grade level team leader, family engagement leader, and Race and Equity Committee chair. Dani also organizes with Ward 1 Mutual Aid, DC Area Educators for Social Justice, Teaching for Black Lives study group, Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools, and DC ACTS.
Ali Schneiderman is a 4th grade lead teacher at Mundo Verde Public Charter School.
Forgotten Heroes Still Leave Their Mark: Lessons from the Reconstruction Era. [ASL] Middle School+.
Take a magical journey to the Reconstruction Era with Michelle Coles, the author of Black Was the Ink and civil rights attorney, and Justin Johnson, the book’s illustrator and D.C. public school art teacher. Discover the contributions of African Americans who served with distinction at the highest levels of government, including as Congressmen, U.S. Senators, Lt. Governors and more, even though the United States was only a few years removed from slavery. Meet the brave people who laid the groundwork for public education in the South, fought for equal rights for all citizens, ran successful businesses, and celebrated their ties to family and church after centuries of bondage. Reflect on how the progress of that era was derailed by domestic terrorists who silenced Black political participation through massacres and lynchings, often with impunity. Test your knowledge of the Reconstruction era and D.C.’s many relevant landmarks through a trivia game and participate in a short course on visual literacy with acclaimed local artist Justin Johnson.
Michelle Coles is a civil rights attorney and is the author of Black Was the Ink.
Justin Johnson is an art teacher in D.C. public schools and is the illustrator of Black Was the Ink.
Lift Every Voice: The Arts as Social Protest. Elementary-Middle School.
This workshop will provide participants with an examination of how the arts have been used throughout history as a means of documentation and social protest. Participants will engage in kinesthetic, linguistic, and arts activities designed to deepen understanding and encourage self-expression. Participants will go into breakout rooms to participate in activities related to spoken word poetry, visual arts, theater arts, and music. Participants should bring a paper and crayons, pens, or markers.
Anne Smith is an author, poet, playwright, musician, and arts educator from Arlington, Virginia. She is the teacher of music at Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, where she also serves as the Equity Liaison. Anne majored in Music Therapy at Howard University and holds an M. Ed from Regent University, an Ed. S and an Ed. D from Liberty University. She has written education materials for VH-1 and has presented at workshops and conferences across the country.
Voices from the Underground Railroad. [ASL]. Middle School-High School.
In this unit, the novel Copper Sun by Sharon Draper is used as an anchor text and paired with the television series Underground, along with poems, spirituals, newspaper articles, and other excerpts that tell the story of enslaved people who traveled the underground railroad. In addition to delving into the heroics of resisting oppression and escaping to freedom, students are introduced to legendary historical figures, including abolitionists, orators, and authors such as Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Olaudah Equiano, Sarah Gudger, and Harriet Jacobs. Throughout the unit, themes of heroism, perseverance, slavery, family, community, the role of Black women, identity, and freedom are explored. Students develop an understanding of perspective, points of view, and are able to articulate how content is presented and analyzed in diverse formats. Teachers will be introduced to resources for building an interdisciplinary unit as well as strategies and tools for analyzing text, film, and other literary mediums. Together, we will explore instructional practices and strategies that foster critical thinking, cultural knowledge, and the ability to evaluate perspectives posed by various authors and texts.
J. Rance-Fisher has worked for the NYC Department of Education as a middle school administrator and English teacher for 16 years. She studied English and Literacy as a college student and believes the past and the future live juxtaposed in the stories of our people. It has always been her educational belief that classroom instruction should reflect the world around her students and works diligently to make learning relevant and engaging.
Creating an Antiracist Classroom Library (with Lesson Plans) for YOUR Elementary Classroom. Elementary.
Participants will walk through each step the Racial Justice Organizing Committee of Philadelphia’s (RJOCP) Antiracist Library Campaign went through when selecting the books and creating activities that aligned to Black Lives Matter Principles, Demands for Radical Education (developed by Racial Justice Organizing Committee of Philadelphia), and Common Core standards. Participants will 1) be introduced to the purpose for the campaign, 2) talk about how to select texts for an antiracist library, 3) discuss how to create activities to accompany the texts that align to the BLM principles, as well as Common Core and other standards. Participants will use a preselected text with an online read aloud and will collectively design an activity plan to accompany the text.
Sarena Vogelsong is a recent graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with an elementary and special education dual major. She has had field placements in the City of Philadelphia. She has volunteered internationally, with classroom experience in Uganda, Kenya, Guatemala, and Eleuthera. Vogelsong has worked for the Racial Justice Organizing Committee of Philadelphia since the spring of 2021, where she was able to create BLM at School Week of Action activities and resources for educators throughout the city of Philadelphia. Vogelsong also was a co-creator of the Antiracist Library Campaign, which gifted educators in the Philadelphia area with an Antiracist Library Set and accompanying lesson plans.
Embodying and Practicing Empathy, Justice & Liberation through Slow looking at Art. All ages.
Participants will use a hands-on protocol based on Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding theory (1993) and his definition of hegemonic viewpoints, as well as the slow looking framework (Tishman, 2017) to nurture a more inclusive, equitable, just, and empowering classroom. Participants will use systems thinking to look critically at art, explore its complexities, and find opportunities to enact change while bringing students’ perspectives and representation to the center of the learning process. Participants will walk away with a practical guide to adapt and facilitate the protocol in the classroom, teacher-training workshops, and other anti-racist teaching initiatives. The ultimate goal of the protocol is to facilitate learning that chooses justice. Participants will be introduced to the theoretical underpinnings of the protocol they will use and the connection with the 13 Guiding Principles of Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose. They will then be divided into two groups (PreK-5th grade teachers and 6th-12th grade teachers). Each group will use the protocol with a piece of art in their breakout rooms and will document the process with the creation of a poem. Finally the group will come back together to share their poems.
Yerko Sepulveda is a Spanish teacher and the Diversity Council Coordinator at Hawken Upper School, in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and an M.Ed. in Bilingual Education and Diversity Studies. He is a Ph.D. Candidate at Texas Tech University. His research concentrates on challenging power and equity pedagogy. He has led teacher-training workshops in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, England, and several states within the United States
Kamisha Morrisson is an experienced elementary educator of nearly 15 years. She earned her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College and Bachelor’s in Graphic Design from Florida A&M University. She has worked in childcare centers, independent, and international schools with students from ages 2.5 to high school in various capacities. Currently, she teaches first grade in Cleveland, Ohio, where she also co-chairs the Lower School DEIJ Committee and facilitates affinity groups for students of color. She is an advocate of culturally responsive, anti-racist, experiential based pedagogies centered on student efficacy and agency.
How Black Educators Organized for Black Youth: The Virginia Interscholastic Association (1954 – 1970). [ASL] Middle-High School+.
Created through the efforts of Black secondary school principals and administrators in 1954, the Virginia Interscholastic Association (VIA) provided enriching opportunities and activities to Black high schools that were otherwise inaccessible due to racial, social, and economic barriers. The VIA is a story about a vision for a society that acknowledged Black high school students for their intelligence, creative skills, and athletic abilities. The facilitators will engage participants with small group activities that use multiple primary sources found on the VIA’s digital archive. Participants will discover how similar activities can be used in their classrooms to address the Black Lives Matter at School’s 13 Guiding Principles.
Dr. Joshua K. Wright is an associate professor of history in the Global Studies Department at Trinity Washington University. Before joining Trinity’s faculty, he was a tenured associate professor of history and the Social Studies Teacher Education program coordinator at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. In 2013 he was among 30 faculty selected nationally to participate in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., on African American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights at Harvard University. He is the author of Wake Up, Mr. West: Kanye West and the Double Consciousness of Black Celebrity and Empire and Black Images in Pop Culture. In 2021, he launched a new podcast series, Woke History, on NPR One and Delmarva Public Media.
Dr. Kristal Moore Clemons is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and a graduate of DePaul University having earned her B.A. in Women’s Studies and Political Science. She earned an M.A. from Washington State University in American Studies and her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Education-Culture, Curriculum and Change. She currently serves as the national director of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools. Prior to that role, she was a full-time professor of education at Virginia State University and Florida A&M.
Justice Warriors: Stone Mountain and Restorative Justice. Middle School-High School+.
Participants will learn how to engage students in an evidence-based, solution-oriented debate regarding the largest Confederate memorial in the world: the carving at Stone Mountain State Park in Georgia. To learn the process that they will facilitate with students, participants will examine excerpts from four primary and secondary documents in order to answer the question, “How could we change Stone Mountain Park so that it affirms Black lives and restorative justice?”
Sally Stanhope is an educator, humanitarian, and artist with a Master’s degree with a concentration in world history from Georgia State University. She has published numerous articles and taught a variety of humanities classes that have ranged from standard curricula to courses she designed herself. She is now at Chamblee High School and working with the Stone Mountain Action Coalition to free Stone Mountain Park from its Lost Cause legacy.
Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell. Middle School-High School+.
The new documentary, Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell, shines a light on the lives and work of two unsung but accomplished African American women artists and art teachers who forged careers in segregated Washington, D.C., and who developed a unique bond as aunt and niece. Their life stories, works of art, and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated society where marginalized Black artists seized educational opportunities, became prominent faculty members of African American schools, and established their own venues to exhibit and publish their work. Participants will learn how Kindred Spirits is a valuable tool for educators who teach African American and Washington, D.C. history, African American art history, and the visual arts. In the workshop, participants will view clips of the film, share their ideas on how the documentary can be used in the classroom, and discuss how the film can inspire students to research and document other overlooked Black artists through essays, poster presentations, and oral history videos and podcasts. Participants will receive a study guide which includes post-screening questions for students, a list of suggested classroom activities, and supplemental reading material.
Cintia Cabib is an independent producer, videographer, and editor. Her documentaries have aired on public television stations nationwide, been screened at venues throughout the U.S., and been distributed to educational institutions, libraries, organizations, and individuals. Cintia’s films shine a spotlight on local people, places, and history. Her documentaries include Labyrinth Journeys, A Community of Gardeners, and Carousel of Memories, which reveals the historical significance of Glen Echo Park’s antique Dentzel carousel. Kindred Spirits is Cintia’s latest documentary. Cintia is a recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council’s 2021 Independent Artist Award.
Narratives of Black Heritage in the Science Curriculum: Introduction to Keystone Passage Book Series. [ASL] Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School.
This workshop introduces students to a chapter book series titled Keystone Passage, which was created by Dr. Quinlan. With the emphasis on literacy and mathematics, sometimes the connections to science are not so clear for the elementary school teacher. Even more disconnected are the narratives of Black heritage from the science curriculum. Dr. Quinlan will introduce you to her first two books, To Africa and Back and Day and Night on The Space Station, which capture both science ideas and the nuances and excitement of Black heritage and culture. As students develop their literacy and reading skills they become intrigued by science ideas and Black heritage. Dr. Quinlan will also talk about the accompanying curriculum materials that can be used in the classroom. Her talk will introduce you to connections to understandings derived from Indigenous peoples that often go unacknowledged in science. In this presentation you will learn about the cultural resources of people of Black African heritage, such as African Rock Art, and come away with resources for classroom use. You will participate in a brief hands-on activity. For the hands-on activity, you are encouraged to sit at a kitchen table and have the following available, if possible: foods or other materials with color (i.e., any syrup, sugar or chocolate syrup, applesauce, sand, chalk, dirt, ketchup, etc.) The books can be used by older grades to unpack Black culture, heritage, and science depending on the experience of the students.
Dr. Catherine Quinlan is Assistant Professor in Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Howard University School of Education. Dr. Quinlan is funded by the National Science Foundation to create curricula and products that are culturally representative of Blacks in America, with a focus on Gullah Geechee African Americans. Dr. Quinlan has made it her goal to bridge theory and practice using multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Her desire for practical classroom products led her to capitalize on her scientific and cultural understandings in her newly launched chapter book series for elementary to early middle-aged students, titled Keystone Passage, which brings Black cultural representation into the formal and informal settings.
“Riots,” Racism, and the Police: Exploring a Century of Police Conduct and Racial Violence. [ASL] Middle School-High School.
Participants will examine excerpts from reports about three major episodes of racial violence, the Chicago Riot of 1919, the “long, hot summer” of 1967, and the Ferguson Uprising of 2014, to analyze historical continuities. Participants will engage with each other in a series of small group tasks and discussions, Padlet activities, and finally, a discussion of how these documents might show up in their own curricula and classrooms.
Ursula Wolfe-Rocca has taught high school social studies since 2000. She is on the editorial board of Rethinking Schools and is a writer and organizer for the Zinn Education Project.
October 25, 2021