Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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Never Forget: How to Help Younger Generations Remember the Holocaust

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on April 26, 2018

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Holocaust education is lacking among younger generations. Some can't even identify what Auschwitz was. At Facing History, we've always known there is more to remembering the past than just reciting names and dates. There is an essential need to connect those details to the complex context in which they existed. The Holocaust did not just happen. Nor did other genocides before or after. Instead, they were built upon the steady unrest, hatred, and propaganda that culminated in the tragic loss of human lives. All were based on trivial characteristics deemed unworthy by a society. 

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Topics: Roger Brooks

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

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

When People Tell Me To Get Over Race, I Remember Elie Wiesel's Words

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on February 7, 2018

Sonari Glinton is a journalist who read Night as a young boy and went on to study with Elie Wiesel when he was a student at Boston University. In a 2016 essay written right after Wiesel's death, Glinton describes how he was first drawn to Night simply because it looked like a quick read for a book report he’d been assigned to write. He was surprised to discover that he identified with its protagonist, even though, as a black boy growing up in Chicago, he and Eliezer would seem to have little in common. Still, Glinton saw himself in Eliezer’s love of books and theology and his status as part of an out-group in his society. Eliezer’s sense of fragility and vulnerability felt familiar.

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Topics: Race and Membership

Need a New Year's Resolution? Practice More Empathy. Here's How.

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on January 3, 2018

It's the season for resolutions. The beginning of a new year makes us promise ourselves to be more healthy or to get more sleep or to spend more time with family. But what about practicing more empathy—that is, the ability to sincerely understand and share someone else’s feelings? Jane McGonigal, world-renowned game designer and Director of Game Research and Development for the Institute for the Future, says you can. And she can tell you how.

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Topics: Empathy

Charlottesville Roundup: Lessons to Use in Your Classroom Today

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on August 29, 2017

In response to the recent events in Charlottesville, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Tolerance, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Federation of Teachers, and EduColor teamed up to support educators as they return to the classroom.

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Topics: current events

Power up Your Summer Learning with a Facing History Online Course

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on June 1, 2017

You love to learn. That's part of why you became a teacher—to spark that same love of learning in your students.  So this summer, in between chapters of that latest beach novel, power up your learning with an online course from Facing History.
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Topics: Professional Development

How You Can Practice Empathy in Your Everyday Life

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on December 21, 2016

Can you practice being more empathetic—that is, the ability to sincerely understand and share someone else’s feelings? Jane McGonigal, world-renowned game designer and Director of Game Research and Development for the Institute for the Future, says you can. And she can tell you how.

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Topics: Empathy, Gaming, Social-Emotional Learning, Community Conversations

Reflecting on Kristallnacht 78 Years Later

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on November 11, 2016

November 9 marked the 78th anniversary of a series of violent attacks against Jews spread across Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. Known as Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” it was the most open and violent attack on Jews by the Nazi regime up until that time. The aftermath was devastating: between 1,500 and 3,000 Jews were killed; 30,000 were sent to concentration camps; over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed; and synagogues across Germany were burned down.

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Topics: Holocaust, Holocaust and Human Behavior, reflection, Memory

Learning Across Borders at the Advanced International Seminar

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on September 26, 2016


In this increasingly globalized world, we can learn a lot from each other. That's why in July, Facing History facilitated a weeklong Advanced International Seminar hosted by North Shore Country Day School. Teachers from Northern Ireland, South Africa, England, Mexico, France, and the United States gathered in Winnetka, Illinois to discuss the issues and challenges educators struggle with and to exchange best practices. 

Karen Murphy, Facing History's international director, recently shared her experience on the Global Learning blog, hosted by Education Week and the Asia Society. Read about the eight lessons she learned from facilitating the Advanced International Seminar.

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Topics: International, Teachers, Europe, Professional Development

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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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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