Every family in the United States originated from somewhere else. From Native Americans who migrated across a land bridge to North America to immigrants who sailed aboard a steamship to Ellis Island, many chose to come to America. Hundreds of thousands of others were brought here against their will aboard slave ships.
The stories are heartbreaking and chilling. In the first few weeks of 2017, identity-based hatred appears to be pervasive and on the rise. Two immigrants from India were shot in Kansas allegedly by a man who confronted them about their visa status; historical Jewish cemeteries were vandalized in St. Louis and Philadelphia; and, in Rockville, Maryland, a Jewish couple, who put up a Black Lives Matter banner outside their home, received a threatening note with the word “Jew” written in German and the ominous promise of “mayhem.” On January 29th, six people were killed and 19 were injured in a mass-shooting at a mosque in Quebec City. The victims included fathers, an academic, and local businessmen. They were in the midst of evening prayers.
“Education is the civil rights issue of our time!” proclaimed Christopher Emdin in the opening keynote to the 2017 SXSWedu Conference and Expo in Austin, Texas. “We can’t really call ourselves educators without understanding that our work is not just about teaching but about understanding the social, emotional dynamic of teaching and learning.” His proclamation drew wild applause from an audience of educators, civic leaders, and big thinkers in education.
Craig Silverman was studying fake news long before the world turned its attention to such a topic. In fact, he’s considered a fake news expert, now working as the media editor for BuzzFeed News. With his fingers on the pulse of a changing journalism landscape, he sees dangers and potential in the way both adults and young people absorb news and information. It’s why he’s speaking to students on March 22 for a one-hour interactive online summit, “Viral Rumors and Fact Checking,” with Facing History and Ourselves and the News Literacy Project.
Images are an important entry to stories of genocides and mass violence. They provide evidence and context but they can also shock us, jolting us into the immense amount of human suffering that occurred. This is why we must be careful when we prepare lessons for students that touch on such graphic and often difficult-to-absorb topics.
Educators often talk about “student well-being,” but we rarely define the term. We know we want more for our students than just academic achievement, but most of us struggle to articulate a vision for what that more looks like, and how to work toward it.
Cicada Scott, the winner of last year's Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, wrote an eloquent essay about life as a non-binary gender teen. In light of recent news about the rollback of federal protection for transgender students, Cicada's reflection on the power of understanding one's own identity is more timely than ever. Read our Q&A with Cicada and check out this year's prompt for the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest. Submissions are open until March 15. Students and teachers will have the chance to win more than $25,000 in scholarships and awards.
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 construction of oil pipelines that are moving forward and the political, environmental, and economic factors involved.
There’s a lot of technology out there. Much of that technology makes its way into the classroom, helping teachers bring their lessons to life and helping students learn in ways they couldn’t before. Tomorrow is Digital Learning Day, a nationwide celebration that started as a way to actively spread innovative practices and ensure that all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live. But it’s also about how educators can learn with each other through technology.
Here are four ways you can celebrate Digital Learning Day and the role technology plays in your life.
In February 1968, Thomas “T.O.” Jones led 1,300 black sanitation workers in a citywide strike against Memphis’ abusive treatment of its black employees. Facing History is honoring Jones and 13 other Memphians who chose to confront injustice and defy indifference through our Upstanders Mural. This commnity-driven public art display is located across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum and steps away from where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
We spoke with Dory Lerner, Museum Educator at the National Civil Rights Museum and a Facing History volunteer, about the importance of the mural in the community and how the stories of these upstanders can be blueprints for changemakers today.