Teaching Radical Hope and Resistance

Photo: Allison Acosta

The young people marching near our office in D.C. (and around the country) have given us what author Junot Díaz describes as “radical hope.”  They also have given us tens of thousands of reasons to carry on.

We offer resources below for the classroom that address key issues such as respectful school environments, examining the politics of “divide and conquer,” other times in history when advances by people of color have faced a brutal roll back, times when people have made progress against all odds, and key issues on the President’s agenda.

Let’s help our students envision and build the future they are calling for.

Readings and Resources

The President’s Agenda

Photo: Allison Acosta

The Zinn Education Project offers a collection of lessons on key topics on the President’s agenda, including:

  • Climate Change
  • Civil Liberties
  • Muslims

  • Economic Inequality
  • Media

Resistance 101

To help introduce a history of resistance to injustice, Teaching for Change has created Resistance 101, a lesson for middle and high school classes to use to #TeachResistance.




As students move from protest to organizing, they will need to learn the skills and strategies involved. Our Zinn Education Project offers lessons, books, films, and websites on organizing. In particular, we recommend When We Fight, We Win! for stories of 21st century activism and the experiences of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at One Vote SNCC.

Respectful Learning Environment


The Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility has compiled an invaluable list of post-election resources for teachers to challenge bias and harassment.

We recommend reading “Getting to the foundations of hate in our schools” in the Sun Times by Gilda Ochoa and “The frightening effect of ‘Trump Talk’ on America’s schools” in the Washington Post by Mica Pollock.

White Identity


This election has highlighted the need to study the history of institutionalized racism and the formation of white identity. When and why did Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, and more become white? Who benefited and who lost? Here are books on white identity in U.S. history and schools. Also, read Toni Morrison’s The New Yorker essay on the elections and whiteness.

 Radical Hope


Teaching guides we turn back to at this time are Beyond Heroes and Holidays, Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word, and Teaching for Joy and Justice. For young children, there is the classic Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves.

Recommended Booklists



For informed reporting on the issues related to the election and Trump’s agenda, we highly recommend Democracy Now! and Colorlines. For critiques of the mainstream media that can be used to promote media literacy, we recommend Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting and Project Censored.

Lessons from History


See also our related resource page, Teaching about Elections.