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How Can Canadian Teachers Walk the Road of Reconciliation?

Posted by Leora Schaefer on Nov 27, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Yesterday we released our new Canadian resource, Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools. This new resource brings educators primary sources and first-person accounts about a painful period in Canadian history, when about 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and stripped of their language, culture, and traditions.

Stolen Lives arrives as Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, after hearing thousands of survivor testimonies, offers a 94-recommendation “Action Plan.” Its June 2015 call said reconciliation—especially through education—is urgent.  

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Topics: Facing History Resources, Toronto, Canada, Residential Schools, Canadian History

Showing My Students that Stories Matter

Posted by Crystal Fresco Gifford on Nov 25, 2015 10:46:27 AM

In this age of smartphones, social media, and text messaging, I sometimes ask myself when was the last time I sat down to actually talk and listen to someone. I wonder how often my students actually engage in face-to-face conversations, especially even more with someone who is older than them.

Then twice in one week I stumbled across The Great Thanksgiving Listen, first on my drive home listening to NPR and then during my Twitter check-in before bed. What was this Great Listen project? I wanted to know more.

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Topics: Classrooms, Students, Facing History and Ourselves, StoryCorps

Help Us #AddUpstander to the Dictionary

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on Nov 18, 2015 4:22:37 PM

Students leave a Facing History classroom inspired by history—not paralyzed by it. They are inspired to learn more, to empathize, to speak up, and to advocate for change. 

In partnership with The BULLY Project and other like-minded organizations, we are working with two Facing History alumnae whose study of history and the impact of choices people made have inspired them to petition the Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster Dictionary to add the word upstander

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Topics: Classrooms, Bullying and Ostracism, Students, Bullying, The BULLY Project

Paris (Traduction Française)

Posted by Karen Murphy on Nov 15, 2015 9:01:11 AM

Nous pleurons avec le peuple de France. Ce qui s’est passé vendredi soir est inimaginable. Les Parisiens faisaient ce que tout le monde fait dans une société libre : ils passaient la soirée dehors avec des amis ou en famille, ils dînaient, buvaient, riaient, écoutaient de la musique, regardaient un match de football. À La fin de la soirée, plus de 120 personnes avaient été assassinées, des centaines blessées et des milliers terrorisées. Nous l’étions tous, d’ailleurs.

Une société libre et ouverte se fonde sur un contrat social qui prescrit que nous vivions ensemble dans la paix et le respect. Le terrorisme rompt ce contrat. C’est son objectif, pour qu’il devienne plus difficile de rester ouverts et inclusifs.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, International, Students, Paris


Posted by Karen Murphy on Nov 14, 2015 3:13:14 PM

We mourn with the people of France. Friday evening’s events are unimaginable. Parisians were doing the things that people do in a free society, enjoying an evening out with friends and family, having dinner, a drink, a laugh, hearing music, watching a football match. By the end of the night, more than 100 people were murdered, hundreds were injured and thousands more were terrorized. In fact, we all were.

Remaining a free and open society is based on a social contract, that we will live together with respect and in peace. Terrorism disrupts this. It is designed to do just that, making it harder to remain open and inclusive.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, International, Students, Paris

Working for Justice, Stability, and Peace in Shanghai

Posted by Anthony Comeau on Nov 13, 2015 2:58:20 PM

“The movement to end war and mass atrocities spans centuries, peoples, and ideologies”

I became interested in international criminal law and genocide prevention through Facing History and Ourselves’ founder Margot Stern Strom, for whom I interned during my gap year between high school and college. Margot introduced me to the thoughts of Benjamin Ferencz, the only surviving prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials. As I read through Ben’s articles and books, I internalized his call to action. Margot and Ben’s approach to the world resonated with my heart, my deepest sense of human dignity, and my own moral reasoning as to how we must learn to get along with each other as one human community.

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Topics: Benjamin B. Ferencz, International, Facing History and Ourselves, Intern, International Justice

Lynsey Addario: The World Through Her Lens

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on Nov 10, 2015 2:01:57 PM

We are excited to welcome American photojournalist and MacArthur Genius Grant Winner, Lynsey Addario, who will be headlining our upcoming Community Conversation in Chicago on Thursday, November 12, presented in partnership with The Allstate Foundation.

The author of a New York Times best-selling memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, Addario uses her work as a photographer to record images of people and societies in conflict around the globe.

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Topics: Photography, Community Conversations, Lynsey Addario, Journalism, The Allstate Foundation

Short Films on Race and Racism from the New York Times

Posted by Adam Strom on Nov 6, 2015 11:27:03 AM

In an interview with Facing History and Ourselves, Sociologist Claude Steele explained that “stereotypes are one way in which history affects present life.” Stereotypes about race are among the most common. The challenge many of us face is that there are few opportunities to talk about the impact of stereotypes, where they come from, and how to break them down. Schools can provide opportunities for these important discussions, yet teachers too often lack both resources and professional development to help them navigate what can be difficult terrain.

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Topics: Classrooms, Race and Membership, Teaching Resources, Video, Eugenics/Race Science, New York Times

Changing Lives and Honoring the Leaders Working for Justice

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on Nov 4, 2015 4:52:54 PM

What do Facing History and Ourselves classrooms really accomplish? Where do our students go after graduation? And how does our approach actually change their lives? We find one answer in the story of a Dominican teenager who immigrated to New York City less than a decade ago. Luis Santos—like so many youth today—fled violent rioting in the streets of the Dominican Republic after it took the life of one of his best friends. Santos found himself attending the Facing History School in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

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Topics: Students, New York, Teaching, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Bryan Stevenson

Add Your Voice to The Adobe Bully Project Mural

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on Oct 28, 2015 3:46:31 PM

October is Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S. Add your voice to The BULLY Project’s latest collective effort to raise awareness by sharing art and stories.

One of the hardest things about bullying, said filmmaker Lee Hirsch, is communicating about it. Lee, the founder of the The BULLY Project, which has sparked broad conversations about the bullying epidemic, has been working to build bullying prevention into a grassroots movement. His award-winning 2011 documentary, Bully, has the tagline: “When we come together, we can do anything.”

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Topics: Classrooms, Bullying and Ostracism, Students, Bullying, Lesson Plans, The BULLY Project


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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