Reflections on Student Activism After National Walkout Day

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on March 15, 2018

Yesterday we watched as thousands of students across the nation banded together in solidarity one month after the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead. As part of National Walkout Day, they flooded the streets with messages for elected officials: enough is enough. Something needs to change.

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Topics: current events

5 Writing Tips for This Year's Student Essay Contest

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 12, 2018

The Facing History Together Student Essay Contest is back! And we're accepting submissions! Using the documentary film, American Creed, we're asking students to tell a story they believe shows the power of uniting people, building bridges, or orienting us to what we share and the common good. But what makes a good essay? We've rounded up a few writing tips that can prepare students to sit down and write their best 500-word essay for the chance to win great scholarship prizes. Check out the full contest site for all of the details. In the meantime, read these tips and get writing. Submissions close on March 28!

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Topics: Essay Contest

Share the Rich History of Student Activism in the Wake of Parkland

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 9, 2018

When young people learn about the movements that changed the course of history, it can sometimes be hard for them see themselves. But there's a rich history of student activism they can relate to. Now, in the wake of the student-led Parkland protest, it's a good time to give them a glimpse into the role that young people can play in creating positive social change. 

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Topics: current events

Student Activism: From the Civil Rights Movement to Parkland Today

Posted by Laura Tavares on March 7, 2018

On March 7, 1965, 17 year old Charles Mauldin took his place near the front of a line of marchers heading out of Selma, Alabama with a demand for equal voting rights. The peaceful marchers were brutally assaulted by local law enforcement; Mauldin was so close to John Lewis that he still remembers the sound of an officer’s billy club cracking Lewis’ skull. The drama of the Selma to Montgomery march transfixed Americans and was a pivotal moment in the struggle for civil rights. In 2015, the 50th anniversary of the march, Mauldin looked back at his experiences, including at photos of him at the march. Now, as student activists are drawing national attention with their calls for reform in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, Charles Mauldin reflects on the power of young people to spark social change and offers his insights for today’s emerging activists.

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Topics: Civil Rights Movement

Women Running in the US Midterm Elections is a Good Sign for Democracy

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 5, 2018

This year is a midterm election year in the United States, which might cause some of us to shudder. Still reeling from the stress, divisions, and tensions of the 2016 presidential election, not all of us are quite ready to handle yet another round of rhetoric and campaigns. But this year is an important one. That persistent sound you hear is women knocking loudly on Washington D.C.’s door: a record number are running for office in November.

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Topics: Women's History Month

Here's Why You Should Address the #MeToo Movement with Your Students

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 2, 2018

As the 90th Oscars ceremony premieres this Sunday evening, the #MeToo movement will be present yet again, with the recent scandal breaking around host, Ryan Seacrest. But there's a long history of women's activism, especially black women's activism, that has been simmering slowly and steadily. Like the legacy of Recy Taylor, who died in December of last year at the age of 98. Taylor’s determination to seek justice for her rapists in Jim Crow-era Alabama set the stage for the Civil Rights Movement and in many ways, today’s modern #MeToo movement.

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Topics: current events

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History: The Future for Teachers with DACA

Posted by Monica Brady-Myerov on March 1, 2018

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. We will take a look at the story of a teacher with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

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Topics: Today's News Tomorrow's History, current events, Listenwise

What Does it Mean to be American? 9 Quotes from Around the Country

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on February 27, 2018

"What does it mean to be American?" is a timely question amidst the immigration debate but it's also one the United States has been struggling with for years. In 2014, New York Times reporter Damien Cave traveled the length of highway I-35, which runs south to north through the middle of the United States, for his “The Way North” project. Along the way, he asked 35 people this question. In 1997, the PBS documentary, A More Perfect Union, addressed the same issue. The complexity of these answers over time still resonates today.

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Topics: Identity

After Parkland, This Play by Two Teachers is More Relevant than Ever

Posted by Stacey Perlman on February 26, 2018

Understanding violence is a difficult task, especially for students. Whether it’s mass violence in history or the violence of today—like the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were murdered by a former student. Both adults and young people are left to grapple with why these events happen and how to process them.

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Topics: current events

The Reichstag Fire: The Shift from Democracy to Dictatorship 

Posted by Jason David on February 21, 2018

On February 27, 1933, the German parliament building known as the Reichstag was set on fire. The government falsely portrayed it as part of a Communist effort to overthrow the state. The Nazi Party soon passed a decree, "For the Defense of the Nation and State," which removed many of German citizens' civil liberties and made it possible to imprison anyone who opposed Nazi rule. The Reichstag Fire is often seen as a cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy and the struggle to keep it intact. 

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behaviour


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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