What does the word “resistance” mean to your students? When we look to examples of history, we can see that resistance comes in many forms. As students strive to make sense of challenging histories like the Holocaust, understanding acts of resistance can provide perspective on the choices individuals made even when options were severely limited. While many of those persecuted by the Nazis lacked meaningful choices, others were able to resist physically and spiritually, by taking up arms in some cases, or striving to preserve their own dignity in others. Here are three examples of resistance during the Holocaust that you can use to jumpstart discussions in your classroom.
Sixty years ago, nine black students attended their first full day of school at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. This landmark effort to desegregate the all-white school played a pivotal moment in the US Civil Rights Movement. Terrence Roberts was one of those students. In this Q&A he reflects back on the 60th anniversary of Little Rock and looks ahead to the progress that has been made—and the hard work that is still left to do—in the fight against racism.
Topics: Civil Rights Movement
Kobi Johnsson knows the importance of a name. That’s why he felt he needed to take action when he learned his middle school’s namesake was an influential leader in the Eugenics movement. He and his father, Lars, set out on a three-year journey to change David Starr Jordan Middle School to something more inclusive.
Topics: Eugenics/Race Science
Earlier this month, New York announced it would share its voter data with the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. California is still resisting the request from the Commission in June that all 50 states hand over voter-roll data. The Commission was launched in May by President Donald Trump to investigate his claims that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote in the 2016 US presidential election. Initially, 44 states and the District of Columbia refused to hand over certain data due to privacy concerns. Voting rights groups are also concerned about efforts to suppress voters. This tension between the states and the voter fraud investigation reveals multiple perspectives about the controversy. Here are three to consider in your classroom.
Classrooms are meant to be safe spaces for students to learn new lessons, share their thoughts, and understand the world around them. This can be challenging for new students—particularly those from different countries—but it’s essential to students' academic and personal growth to feel included and valued. Creating a welcoming environment can take a little extra work, but it’s possible and there are small, easy ways to do it.
We're proud to announce the 12 recipients of the 2017 Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants! This year, we asked teachers to send us their best ideas for how to make "hard empathy" a tangible, concrete experience for young people in the classroom—and they delivered! We received 129 inspiring ideas, which made it difficult for us to choose only 12.
Over the last month, we've been examining the different facets of democracy with our "What Makes Democracy Work?" campaign. Today, we look at two rising young stars who are showing that civically engaged young people are key to a healthy democracy. Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi started the student-run organization, CHOOSE, to overcome racism and inspire harmony through exposure, education, and empowerment. This led them to collaborate with Princeton University on, The Classroom Index, a textbook devoted to racial literacy. Liz Vogel, Executive Director for Facing History's Los Angeles office, had the opportunity to serve as Guo's mentor through Three Dot Dash (3DD), a global teen leadership program. We asked Guo to tell us about her and Vulchi's experience creating a textbook for racial literacy.
On May 21, 1917 thousands of people gathered in Memphis to watch the brutal lynching of Ell Persons. One hundred years later, this past Sunday, the student-led activist group, Students Uniting Memphis (SUM), gathered with 500 community members from all backgrounds to commemorate his life and bring awareness to the injustices that occur when we divide people into “us” vs. “them.”
Topics: Race and Membership
In March, 64 lawyers from Holland & Knight were busy poring over thousands of essays. These weren’t from legal briefings or court hearings. They were submissions from over 5,200 students who entered the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest. The global law firm’s Holocaust Remembrance Project, which is part of its charitable foundation, generously funded the contest but their lawyers also took an extra step by volunteering to review the essays.
Part of challenging our students is challenging ourselves as educators. That’s why Facing History is excited to announce the 2017 Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants. This year, we’re challenging you to think about how you can bring “hard empathy” into the classroom. You could be one of 12 educators to receive $2,500 to bring your project to life.