3 Reasons to Explore the Nanjing Atrocities 80 Years Later

Posted by Mara Gregory on November 20, 2017

December 13, 2017 will mark the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Atrocities. Between December 1937 and March 1938, the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the city of Nanjing, unleashing a spree of violence, murder, and rape on thousands of women, men, and children. 

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Topics: Genocide/Collective Violence

The Great Thanksgiving Listen: 5 Great Tips for a Meaningful Interview

Posted by Kim Baskin on November 16, 2017

The Great Thanksgiving Listen is almost here. For the third year in a row, StoryCorps and Facing History are encouraging Facing History students around the country to listen to stories from their loved ones by having a meaningful conversation and learning critical listening skills. But before you begin, make sure to keep these great interviewing tips in mind! 

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Topics: StoryCorps, The Great Listen

Democracy In Today's World: It's Your Responsibility

Posted by Karen Murphy on November 13, 2017

I was flying home from London last week and was sitting in an exit row. It’s funny how you can see those seats as access to more room to stretch out when really they are an emergency exit. In any case, the flight attendant came by and I was ready for her spiel: read the card, say that you agree to help, etc. Instead, she looked me in the eye and said, “You are going to need to do this. We are not going to get to you in time. We will be in the back opening those doors and helping people. People will be on you quickly and need your help.” Then she paused and said, “Most people think that we really are going to run up here and help, but we really can’t. We won’t get here in time. It’s your responsibility.”

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Topics: Democracy

5 Resources to Examine Individual Choices During Kristallnacht

Posted by Dan Sigward on November 9, 2017

Today marks the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or the “Night of Broken Glass.” This series of violent attacks against Jews that spread across Germany, Austria, and parts of Czechoslovakia was a major escalation in the Nazis’ increasingly violent campaign against Jews that would result in the Holocaust. According to historian Martin Gilbert, Kristallnacht was “a brutal, hysterical, uninhibited assault on everything Jewish, on a far wider scale than hitherto, and yet only a prelude to something far larger still.”

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behavior

Understanding the Importance of the US Withdrawal From UNESCO

Posted by Fernando M. Reimers on November 8, 2017

Last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced that the US would be withdrawing from the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) by the end of 2018. Understanding the implications of this is important for students in today’s world, particularly as the nation’s dynamics with international institutions continue to shift. Discussing these events prepare our students for engaged citizenship. Bringing the world to the classroom can also motivate students and help them become effective and satisfied in the long term.

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Topics: International

Teaching Empathy: It's More Than Fun and Games

Posted by Jackson Westenskow on November 6, 2017

Last week Facing History announced the two grand finalists for the 2017 Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants! Jackson Westenskow from Aurora, Colorado and Catherine Epstein from Boston, Massachusetts will receive $2,500 to work with Facing History on promoting their lessons to teachers everywhere. Their lessons will debut this spring. In the meantime, read how Jackson Westenskow uses an innovative game to teach hard empathy to his students. And make sure to read about Catherine Epstein's project!

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Topics: Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants

Teaching Empathy: Closing the Political Divide One Letter at a Time

Posted by Catherine Epstein on November 1, 2017

Facing History is excited to announce the two grand finalists for the 2017 Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants! Out of 12 finalists, Catherine Epstein from Boston, Massachusetts and Jackson Westenskow from Aurora, Colorado were chosen to receive an additional $2,500 to work with Facing History on promoting their lessons to teachers everywhere. Their final lessons will debut this spring. In the meantime, read what Catherine has to say about how she uses letter writing to teach her students hard empathy. Make sure to read Jackson Westenskow's blog post about his project!

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Topics: Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants

Breathe Life Into Your Lessons By Applying Elements of Storytelling

Posted by Zachary Herrmann on October 30, 2017

Have you ever been on the outside of an inside joke? Key details are missing; you're confused, and you quickly become disengaged. I fear that our students may sometimes feel the same way about school: There’s a storyline that they aren’t quite seeing.

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Topics: Teaching Strategies

Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History: What Do the National Anthem Protests Mean?

Posted by Monica Brady-Myerov on October 26, 2017

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 protests against racial injustice and the reaction from many points of view.

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

3 Stories to Inspire You for the Great Thanksgiving Listen

Posted by Julia Malta-Weingard on October 24, 2017

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! And for a third year in a row, Facing History is partnering with StoryCorps to encourage high school students from all 50 states to participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen. StoryCorps challenges teens and educators across the country to sit down with an elder or loved one, record a meaningful conversation, and make history by adding their voices to the StoryCorps Archive and to a special collection at the Library of Congress. It has become a growing national movement to gather the nation’s diverse voices and to recognize the importance of intergenerational listening.

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Topics: The Great Listen


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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